Shells by Juliet Wilson
(Morecombe Bay February 2004)
Grey skies, cold and bitter wind
a share of a damp mattress
in an unheated room.
You follow orders from the brother
to the man who let your cousin die
in a truck approaching Dover.
Your parents wait back home
with nothing but pain and a photo of you
smiling through the English rain.
Shells held to your ear
murmured promises, but they are empty
here in devil’s beach.
Treacherous sands shift
impossible to know where is safe
where will suck away your life.