Human Parcels – by Fiona Clark

Human parcels, here we await delivery.

under heavy cardigans and coats, we sweat,

even in the bone-cold, bitter midnight air.

Hidden in my right shoe’s hollow heel, a gold watch ticks.

Beneath my under-bodice, neatly stitched, my mother’s

turquoise ring. The water in the harbour coils, black ink,

an iceberg’s depth to swallow us. Here we could drown.

Quivering in moonless darkness, we pace up and down,

ears straining for the dip and drip of oars, the fateful sign,

ready to be loaded, hurled, or hauled, to unknown destiny,

to find the sole, strong polestar, or die in deadly darkness,

sink or swim? To hear our souls’ song dimly echoing,

as waves break on some distant, homely shore. Who

shall unpack me, open arms to me, otherwise hold me?

Our blood-red viscera contained in straining seams,

or spilled and swirled in cruel, colliding currents?

Into the tiny, fragile, bobbing boat, we’re loaded,

human parcels, crowded, lumped together, baggage merely.

Inside the bony basket of our ribs, unsilenced, our bold hearts tick fiercely.

Fiona Clark is a published author, who writes poetry, short stories, playscripts and who is also currently engaged in writing a novel. She focuses on nature, human relationships, history, the paranormal, transgressive women and social issues. Fiona is lucky enough to live in Suffolk, UK, with its deep layers of history, haunting shoreline and its lively, vocal ghosts.

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