Star of Hope (1883)
One hour and forty-five minutes is how
long it took to walk to the mouth of the
beast that swallowed you, and back.
Along the way is where I found you. In
the distance you looked like a group of people
crouching, a consortium of people.
I thought maybe fishermen, or women,
which reminded me of cockle picking
with my grandparents in the nineties.
With sinking, mud covered feet I trudged
forward, shifting between uncertainty
and elation, realising what you once were.
I never thought it possible to find beauty
in a skeleton but the reflection of your bones,
shellfish nestled tightly into every nook,
on the ocean’s face was like nothing I have
ever seen before and so I photographed
you, unapologetically claiming you as art.