Danger Here

Water, speckled like dirty glass

and white foam bearing against

the black feet of cliffs screaming

with mating birds in tangled flight,

waves unite to swallow a rock

formation like a Norman tower

tarnished, burnished. Danger

here and white

birds float like dust – no

sea foam taking animal form.

This is the path I follow. What was her way,

nearly thirty years ago?

Did she stand here, at these cliffs, on this sea?

When I was very young, I believed

she knew everything.


Where the water meets the rock,

it is black. Then red, like rust.

Then fawn, dapple grey, and soon

climbing green.


My mother’s brain did not know everything.

Did she think, standing here,

that there was something hidden,

hard like rock, pressing against her ear?


There is danger here, on these cliffs,

and I wonder: did she go this way?

She, untangled, unattached

floating like so much sea foam

in the silver tarnished air.
[Angie Spoto]

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