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Tess Jolly: a poem

The Aftermath

Today the moon holds out for a few more seconds

and the nightingales open their beaks wider to sing

and the wasps calibrate more intricate patterns

and the hawk maps new fissures of light

and the wolf barks an invitation

and the beetles bore their galleries into the grain

and the swamp tugs more urgently at the source of the river

and the forest imagines a different story

and the canopy holds itself open for longer

and the rain, when it falls, falls faster than it has ever dared

and the thistles are slick with it from root to spire

and caught in the thick of it, nipped right down

to the quick of it. I wait for the aftermath –

and nothing happens, and nothing happens, and nothing happens.

Tess Jolly has published two pamphlets: Touchpapers (Eyewear) and Thus the Blue Hour Comes (Indigo Dreams). Her first full collection, Breakfast at the Origami Café, was published in 2020 by Blue Diode Press. She lives with her family on the south coast of the UK, where she runs her freelance editing business and facilitates creative writing workshops for children and young people. You can find here here:


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