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Image by Nico Frey

Divorce (i)

It divides, places a spike
in the dirt, a vast opening
into which we must fall.

It has all the letters of love,
except the L – it has lost
the beginning of love, sent

a dove in its place. In her
open beak an olive branch –
a promise of dry land

beyond the flood.

Divorce (ii)

In a moment between four knees and a knocking
door, I lost the word love, it flew away. So I dared it to
return, perhaps as a white winged messenger of God.
In came a dove who settled on my open palm
whilst my soon to be ex-husband dropped heavy words
that tumbled to my feet. I heard it’s me, I’m sorry skip
and scurry and dig, try to pull me through the cracks
of our bamboo floor. His face as lost as my faith
good grace of my dove let me climb right onto her feathered
back – my body exposed to a westerly wind and a sound
so loud I couldn’t find it until I closed my eyes.
With paper hands I gripped plumage and spikes so tight
the spines left divots in my skin, a dam to stop the flood
which broke my heart and sought a wide expanse of sea.

The Loss of I

To fall, to fail, just the difference of I as I watch
you fall to depths of new love, catch you mid
flight as your voice begins to soar in notes of Swiss
pine, heather and thyme. I discover, in the language of your
lover, FJÄLL means highlands. Perhaps that’s why the world
has fallen upside down as you walk in wilderness of fells
with wide skies and whistling winds, whilst I fail
to leave a house in which we lived for 10 years.
Heavy rainfall sweeps me under, a silent
stalactite suspended beneath once shared ground.


A year ago you left. No. A year ago, you told me you were leaving. Then
I think of leaves, and how much nicer that is. The kind that weep red
and tell me to let go, let go, let go. As you go, I do as the leaves tell me
and I empty, I gush bright ruby clots. They come so suddenly, as if you
had literally taken a knife to me and I, like a soured damson, am just
pulsating open flesh. I think, this has never happened to me before, and
have I been holding on all this time? My womb on constant alert,
waiting for the moment when all the leaves fall. A year ago you left. No.
A year ago, you told me there was nothing left for you here. Where had
it all gone? It was as easy as that, you took what had been everything
and placed it in your pocket and I couldn’t find it anywhere. I looked
in the shapes left by the leaking shower, water that lay peacefully until
I could see wings and remembered that I’d had some too. But where
did I leave them? I checked behind the sofa, could only find my shame,
afraid of too much light. I waited until the full moon and searched
outside, covered my skin in milky stars as I buried scuffed knees in wet
dirt and dug. I scraped around the base of the black cherry tree,
scratched at roots and tugged until one came loose. I wrapped it around
my leg, begged her to bury me. She asked what I was looking for, but I
could only cough rough and raspy as my throat was full of earth. Tell
me with your eyes, she said, and so I cut them out and gave them to an
owl whose talons had tangled in my hair. She told me to keep looking
for the invisible spaces I cannot speak. The bits in-between man loves
woman, woman loves man. Now man loves man, and I still love him.
Where are the words? Hidden in the memory of a letter on my tongue
or the stretch of a back in the dark. They must be further underground.
So I keep digging, I am furious with the need to be under it all, with the
dead and the unseen living. A year ago you left. No. A year ago, you
told me that love was what was left over, even when everything else had gone.

Laura Davies is a British poet currently living in Buckinghamshire. She’s interested in the way the shapes and sounds of individual letters and words can create connections between meaning and memory. Her Welsh heritage influences much of her work and themes of love and loss often feature. 

Laura has recently completed an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University, specialising in poetry under the tutelage of Mary Jean Chan.


  1. Amanda Dawson

    I found myself reading your lines over and over. The play of words is clever and compelling. I like the way you layer your subjects. You made your loss and hurt into something imprinted for longevity, in a way that somehow uplifts one and lets you and us move on. Thank you.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you Amanda for taking the time to read my poems and to comment, I can’t tell you how much that means to me. I’m delighted that you found something in them that resonated with you and really value your insight. Thank you.

    • Anonymous

      Laura, your poems are beautiful. The last one in particular with its special connection to nature, so tender and moving but I can still feel the pain you have captured.

      • Anonymous

        Thank you so much for reading and responding Doryn ☺️

  2. Anonymous

    This poet makes me cry with her beautiful and graceful depictions of love and loss. Soar high Laura, your words move me deeply.


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