bex hainsworth


Skipton, North Yorkshire

The fields are a bowl, filled.

A glacier once scraped out

the entrails of the valley,

leaving an oyster shell,

an altar plate ready for silver.

The river bulges

like a dead thing left to the air.

Its mirrored body is burst open:

a hasty gutting. Each pool,

each grey pocket, an amputated scale.

Mallards float on the upturned

belly like pilotfish.

Dry stone walls rise

from the slippery husk, brown

and purple, the exposed

veins of a leviathan.

And where the water thickens to mud,

rams stand in the sod, horns curled

into urchins, and observe, unconcerned.

Open gates and fenceposts

gather, shipwrecks in the shallows.

Trees shoulder their broken branches,

masts, crosses, and gesture

in vain towards higher ground.

previously published in Green Ink Poetry

Bex Hainsworth (she/her) is a bisexual poet and teacher based in Leicester, UK. She won the Collection HQ Prize as part of the East Riding Festival of Words and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Heavy Feather Review, Ethel Zine, Atrium, Okay Donkey, Acropolis Journal, and Brave Voices Magazine. Find her on Twitter @PoetBex.