On Burton Mere

by Cae Hawksmoor, UK

There are things we were not meant to bear:
the weight of plastic flapping in the hedgerows,
December daffodils,
and February fire—
a mile long,
scorching Saddleworth to bone.
On the factory-crowded mere,
thistledown rises 
smoke-like through the rushes
and the dry, deep cup within me overflows.
I cannot contain
the marsh harrier that pivots through gleaming air,
blood thumping in my aching throat,
repeating in a voice both frail and ferocious:
and yet you live,
and yet you live,
and yet you live.

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