Camilla Lambert

Assembly of three sisters on the beach

I see them, three sisters, their ashes
once scattered from the same rocks,
every speck and splinter
now swept back from sea-floor crevices
into rebuilt bones and flesh.

They stand on stalwart legs,
feet pressed into grey shingle,
arms stretched towards each other
They turn to face the sea,
hands joined in recognition,

savouring the taste of wind,
straight-cut fringes blown awry.
Braid-edged blouses fold
round shoulders, gathered skirts
swirl against bellies and thighs.

They stoop, searching together
for yellow winkles and spindle shells.
Their voices sound
above the slow swoosh of waves,
arguing, questioning, bold.

I see them walk in single file
up to the weather-slated house.
And I see the day has turned itself
back to front, the sun
is setting in the east,

the collapsed barn by the white gate
is re-roofed, the brambles tamed.
Inside, a gathering of ewes
shift uneasily
on the verge of giving birth.

Camilla Lambert began writing poetry on retirement in 2007. Her first pamphlet Grapes in
the Crater was published by Indigo Dreams Publishing.  Acumen, Agenda, The Frogmore Papers, The Interpreter’s House, SOUTH and Sentinel Literary
Quarterly, and in various anthologies, with a number being placed or highly commended in
competitions. She co-organises a small arts festival in Binsted, near Arundel, West Sussex. She is working on another collection, based on family memories and experiences of two particular places in Cornwall.