Laura Foley is the author of five poetry collections including The Glass Tree, winner of a Foreword Book of the Year Award, and Joy Street, winner of the Bi-Writer’s Award. Her poem Herculean was selected for publication by the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award and features alongside 60 writers’ works spanning poetry and short fiction in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual 2016. The work also appears in her newest manuscript, It’s This and another work, Night Ringing, will be published in 2016 by Headmistress Press.
We weather the rough waves together
as the excursion boat takes its beating
and I attempt to soothe us reading Aeneid
loud enough to drown the pounding out.
When I read the chapter where Palinurus
falls from the ship, I realise it too late, continuing
to the underworld, where we meet Palinurus
dead. Arriving at the coral bed at last,
the captain gestures for us to jump in,
in a language I do not understand,
as he abandons my three young children and me
to bob in deep water, attempting to snorkel,
but the coral has faded due to over-fishing,
and I don’t know where our ship has gone.
We’re far from Margarita’s white sand beaches,
where my husband, past eighty, nurses a torn Achilles,
and I begin to understand my future.
The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 2016 is now open for entries. For a chance to get your work seen by an international audience and win publication, visit http://www.aestheticamagazine.com/creative-writing-award/
1. Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual 2015 cover image: Ellie Davies, Between the Trees, 2014. From the series, Between the Trees, 2014.