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I had a dream of my success

and of all the things I was truly

gifted at, it was stealing rocks,

boulders the size of mountains

from fields in their décor of moss and lichen

from rivers cloaked in algae camouflage,

digging through silt for sedimentary skeletons

and placing them again in my graveyard

of unmarked headstones. Lifting


these monoliths wasn’t an issue

I could move solid objects the weight of Wales

as if running my fingers through sand

I was as strong as the steel that holds bridges,

my stamina that of a black hole.

The blues, greens and greys of narky

and gnarled edges bit at my hands

leaving them raw like a freshly killed pig

but I carried on rearranging Mother Earth’s work


until the time came that I’d changed perceptions,

when I could stand back and lift my chest

above my crown, connecting with a thousand

strands of silk that held me

like newborn breath bawling its birth.

Then gentle as hands that touch a final goodbye

I was laid in my meadow with crag and stone

that I’d built with my own reddened bone

and I slept like a corpse, still and home.

Terri Metcalfe has been published in Abridged, A New Ulster, Green Ink Poetry, Spilling Cocoa and Skylight 47. She was shortlisted for the Open Window 2023 mentorship programme and will be a featured reader at the 20th anniversary of Over The Edge Literary Events held in Galway this January.

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