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Picture 10100950, photograph by Roger Mayne, circa 1960s, image copyright Mary Evans / Roger Mayne Archive

In Whitby
by Pam Thompson

 

on a January morning

my heart climbs the 199 steps,

 

turns, takes a breath, and for seconds

is terraces and roof-tops, the swelling North Sea.

 

Inside St. Mary’s Church, my heart

reads a notice,

 

Do not ask the staff where the grave

of Dracula is because there isn’t one

 

and my heart smiles,

moving very slowly between pews,

 

looking for, but not finding,

a carved effigy of itself.

 

Instead, an offering and a candle

that stays lit even in the day’s sudden gusts

 

which blow inside and outside

my heart, to the abbey

 

where it settles at last,

in front of a statue of St Hild.

 

 

© Pam Thompson

Picture 10100950, photograph by Roger Mayne, circa 1960s, image copyright Mary Evans / Roger Mayne Archive

 

 

Pam Thompson is a poet, educator and writing tutor based in Leicester. She has been published in The Rialto, Mslexia, The North, Butcher’s Dog, Poetry Salzburg, The Interpreter’s House and Under the Radar among others. Her collections include The Japan Quiz (Redbeck Press, 2009) and Show Date and Time (Smith|Doorstop, 2006). Pam has a PhD in Creative Writing and her second collection, Strange Fashion, was recently published by Pindrop Press. Pam is a 2019 Hawthornden Fellow.

 

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