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Flare Path

i.m. MB.

We sat in a circle of crackling light

pouring out libations, sitting hilarious,

and in judgement, in vino veritas -

or so we thought - around the fire pit

newly dug in the garden, and happy

to speak ill of the old gods,

the new – who was up, who down,

the path of college celebrities –

concentrating on the doomscroll

when we could not control the flow of talk,

gazing into the fire, seeing stars with too much

wine, and wonder at the flare path of our lives

that brought us to such a moment, friendship

and firelight,

where we were headed, all the future hopes

and fears, the talk of everything, and nothing,

the way old friends can gather…

Standing on an island

promontory and staring into the past, the fury

of the sea my only company, recalling

how you had an air of stolen fire that night,

a dangerous glitter racing in your eyes

and pulse, you had it all, and knew the worst.

Pity us, our innocence,

that didn’t know it then, around that fire pit,

the last barbeque of the summer

but you were about to burn it all down

and instead of asking us for help, you were about

to drown


SARAH WALLIS is a writer living on the East Coast of Scotland, UK. 2023 included poem art with a cauliflower heart at Osmosis, podcasting with Eat the Storms and a winning story at The Welkin. A poetry chapbook Poet Seabird Island is available Spring 2024 from Boats Against the Current and other recent work in 2024 is at Propel and The Dirigible Balloon, in both digital and audio versions.

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