‘Llandudno’ by Kate Wise


The cries of seagulls smell of salmon sandwiches.
Tinned. On white; juice-soggy in their teeth-setting silverfoil.
Plastic bag jellyfish sculled the pier’s shadows.
We sat in the morning’s goosepimples,
park-bench thigh-marked, waiting for you to finish your
in matching turquoise shorts because it was
the Summer.
Harvey and Hector stumbled us gloomily
over the pebbledashed sands.
A boat bumped the grey to pick up Some Idiots
stranded on the rocks.
There was a big hill that like so much
we couldn’t afford to go up today maybe next time. The Great Orme, from where
Uncle James said he dreamt he saw a great white swan leap
the night before
you know
and we all thought him maudlin, but still,
he never came home.
On our way home,
you stopped at a newsagent and bought us badges,
mother of pearl
esque, our names in gold lettering,
and mine, so rarely, spelled just right.
On the pier I’d bought one of those keyrings
– crab/ tuft of seaweed/ shell –
suspended in a deathly aquarium of Caribbean-blue plastic
to capture Llandudno forever. I gave it to you to say
thank you very much for today though my fingers itched to say no keep it take it back.
I expect I will, though, when you’re gone, from
the drawer you still keep it in
with your church hankies and
holiday cigars.
The smell of salmon sandwiches,
and somewhere in a striped tent
a man beating a woman
who beat a dog
but here there was a crocodile
and it made
no sense.
(Commended in the Cafe Writers competition 2014)
Kate Wise @kwise62 has been published in various magazines in print and online, including StepAway, Ink Sweat and Tears, and Proletarian Poetry. She was commended in the 2013 Cafe Writers and 2014 Manchester Cathedral competitions, and placed third in the 2014 Ware Poets competition. In 2015 her work will appear in two Emma Press anthologies.