The theme for today’s #30DaysOfSummerWritingChallenge is ‘We are Sailing.’ Now I have never been on a yacht. I am awkward getting in an out of small crafts. But I adore ferries. Nor do I get seasick (which was one reason why my husband demurred on taking a trip to Orkney with me. One epic bout of seasickness back in the 1970s has forced him to avoid lengthy boat crossings. The shortest is always the best. Even then he keeps his head down while I roam the deck.) So the Poetry Daily is inspired not by my first experience of a ferry; there had been two cross-British Channel trips before the one that I am memorialising in the Poetry Daily today. The route the Poetry Daily poem takes was Stranraer in Scotland to Larne in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The year was 1980.
Interesting that I am writing this ‘up north’ where we travelled to attend the first of what could be quite a few 70th birthday parties for handsome man that grew up in the Country Armagh.
The crossing was rough.,
loos filled with sick past Ailsa Crag.
Ridiculous I'd been made of
tougher stuff. On deck,
inhaling cold, salt air, revelling
in the swell and roll.
Then, through the mist, the gull's caw.
Landfall within sight.
For the first, and last, time in my life
I felt the Land not just call me
but pluck out my heart.
"You're mine now!" I wanted to fall
on my knees on deck awash,
splashed with rain and sick. I was lovestruck
by Antrim's outline.
The Land shook me, called
my name. I answered.
From then on our lives intertwined.
Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.