Pole to Pole
Chattering, we trek the silvered
poles onto a tiny tidal island.
You’re nine: all gaps, blustered
plaits, a smirk as you relish
wet upsucks from glistering sand.
You’d wanted castles, magic,
a land so wild and wide it would
upend you from your wellies,
tip you howling back into the world.
We trudge at a slant for the listing,
wind-wracked church, grappling hands,
scarves horizontal, the crunch
of shucked glass and mussel shell
beneath our feet. Inside, the shock
of calm, all words measured, even
in rapturous song. You fiddle and split
a blonde crucifix, one eye blinkered
by the ancient heavy door rattling
in its frame, one ear tuned to the crash
and boom of the sea restless in the dark.
I wonder if you would rather be out
in it too; if you carry the same unhinged
feeling where a storm is a sanctuary
and a church a kind of shipwreck.
Kaddy Benyon was born in Cambridge and grew up in Suffolk. In 2012, she won the Crashaw Prize with the manuscript for her debut collection of poetry, Milk Fever (Salt Publishing). Ten of Kaddy’s poems were also shortlisted for the inaugural Picador Poetry Prize (chosen by Don Paterson, Jackie Kay, John Stammers and Sarah Crown). Kaddy is a Granta New Poet.
Photograph by Liam Moloney CC 2.0