Maggie Sawkins: a poem



Why did you Come? Why did you Stay?


(Questions asked of Quarr Abbey Monks)


Because I'm lost inside

the ferry's heartbeat.

Because the sea

reminds me

of my father's eyes.


Because I'm returning

to where my baby heart

was set in motion.


Because the sea balances

the ferry in the palm of its hand,

carries me, its trembling cargo,

from here to there.


Because I know now

it's wrong to step outside

during the hours of darkness.

It's wrong to throw lit matches

over the side of the deck.


Because when the time comes

I will do as I'm told: locate

the life jacket's whistle,

and blow.


I stay because I no longer want to go.

I stay because each day is better

than the last.



Maggie Sawkins lives in Portsmouth and delivers creative writing projects in community settings.  Her live literature production "Zones of Avoidance" won the 2013 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. Her most recent poetry collection, Many Skies Have Fallen, is published by Wild Mouse Press. You can find her here: www.hookedonwords.me.