Outcrop

Writing by Harry Clough. Illustration by Josie Berry.


Two lovers land on a swan’s nesting place, 

Oscillating dragons on paper wings 

And we sprawled like senators on damp, speckled earth.

A reclining troop of murky frogs burp wetly and richly,

A Greek chorus by the Styx relishing the toad work we hid from

Under cow parsley’s shade and giggling reeds

We made our Sunday nest on the sunstroked jut.

No distant green to reach towards, 

Only that underneath our bare feet.

And between our smiles.

But as a swan glided up to our bank and we

Hastened out of its glaring way,

A shattered duck egg appeared, nestled snugly 

Beside a buttercup’s matching, innocent colours.

The hard yolk and virgin shell splayed as in carnage.



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