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Sonnet for the glass blower

Look Ma, mermaid tears! He says, hands over-
flowing with sea-foam, cobalt and honey-
amber glass fragments, sharp edges wave-
mended but new skins etched with tiny ‘c’s
like echoes of a ship-wreck’s quiet sobbing.
This one from Pirates’ Cave is my favourite.
He lifts it to the sun to show me why.
The bubble inside reminds me of searching
a foetal scan for a heart-beat. A bottle
of Milk of Magnesia once, it’s been holding
the glass blower’s breath in its belly since
blown into life. I thumb its smooth curve
the way you would a bottom lip, the dimple
of air blue and still in its small glass womb.

Majella Kelly has a pamphlet ‘Hush’ with Ignition Press (2020). You can read more about her at


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