Visiting Oceans

by Valerie Bence


Through flooded fields beside the train
we glide on hydro-wheels

birds on a wire blink rain
sheep on a patch of high ground
in mist and smear
flying heron
wing tip to water
cottage moatlike
boats on a street
woman in a blanket

we think we know
what we are doing, where we are,
but cover with water and we are lost
what skies such skies
bubble up from nowhere.
It feels like a taster,
 of trouble round the corner.

Fifty years ago
 the field behind our house flooded
and I thought it the end of the world;

with no reference points
I was adrift,
the garden ended in water
 and the rabbit —
 drowned in its hutch.
I might have been standing
 at the ocean’s edge,
for all I knew it was here at my house,
come to us
 with all its fish
 and swimming birds.
My world had shifted since going to bed.


Valerie Bence

Visiting Oceans by Valeria Bence first appeared in Issue 2 of Bare Fiction Magazine (April 2014).

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