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Katherine Meehan: a poem

Awaken, Sleepers, Rise!

And the sound of the horn

was the lakeshore waves

lapping the side of stone

and the blue-grey music

struck our arms like water, pulling

outwards like the moon's gravity –

clearing us out, not for the first time.

Will you be a mausoleum always?

Or admit the rise and fall of decay,

the necessity of it. Death is timeless

as the present moment and its goal

of uniformity yields at the sound

that divides into our separate

exhalations, the dust of years settled

in the deepest corners of the lungs,

released and called to hear, to become

shades of reflected sky and lake water

rising from the wet root of all ghosts,

rinsed in the air and utterly relieved

to step out of the grave of our own volition,

free to perceive how together we are

at last, to say out loud and loudly:


Let me be better this time with you!

For we have stood in the presence of all

and seen the earth cracked open, spilling

out yolk-bright and yet to be created;

the ordinary wonders of a second chance.

Katherine Meehan lives in Reading. Her poetry has appeared in Brittle Star, Ink, Sweat & Tears, and The Crank. Her short fiction has appeared in Drunken Boat, Wilderness House Literary Review, Glint Literary Journal, and others. She holds a master's in Creative Writing from the University of Oxford and is working towards her first collection.

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