Mum falls sideways on her sofa, throwing
supper up like a dying star’s plasma
ripping through space.

On St Agnes, we scramble to
the daymark, a giant tombstone set
against evening light.

Come morning, unsettled, we uproot
our tent to be closer to the thrash of sea.
Mum sprawls unconscious

on a wash of green cushions.
A fisherman’s catamaran chugs us on safari,
an ambulance ferries her to St Richard’s.

I’ve heard that nearing death
people float above their bodies,
scan for loved ones.

We stand on deck peering
through binoculars.
A kittiwake circles overhead, mewing.

Later, we play campsite cricket.
Hours pass.
I still haven’t checked my phone.

2pm the next day, I plunge
into the Atlantic, gasp. Mum’s last sigh,
the gentle lap of a wave.

Commended in The Ver Poetry Competition 2023