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"we were" & "lily-pads on the cold water" by Sean Smith

lily-pads on the cold water

Paper boats gliding through

uncertain eddies

- - -

Soda bread chewy in all the wrong places

Trying not to gag

Telling grandma

Its lovely through heaving breaths

- - -

Sprinting, running through uncut fields

To silver streams at the bottom

Sharp stones turned ankles

Concrete lanes to other worlds

Where imagination lived alongside wooden swords

The tiny house and its caved in roof

And rusted pump on the dried up well

lily-pads on the cold water


drifting always always out of


we were

More years ago than either of us can remember we were driftwood, even then

And then, washed up upon a shore we were the shelter we didn’t know we needed

And the town we became grew, and we supported more than each other, and we had to become more

And so we did. We grew and grew until we were everything around us and we were nothing at all.

But still, we were. We were the roads and tracks of our new world, and the blood that flowed.

We became the lives of others and the thoughts in the dark and the shadows at their doors.

We were the fears in their dreams and the hope in their futures. We were the rains that fell

and turned their barren lands to crops. We were the thunder that echoed in their valleys and the lightning that lit their nights.

We were the nameless

We were the memories of things that didn’t happen.

We were everything. And we were nothing.

Sean Smith is a writer and poet from Northern Ireland, who is previously published in Roi Faineant, Fiery Scribe, Orchard Lea and others. He is currently found trying to get pieces of writing in on time to complete his MA in English & Creative Writing at Ulster University.

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