Sarah Jane Justice 2 Poems

Strike

we will strike while the iron is hot

 

we will raise our fists, filled with the blazing red

of copper that has steamed scars into our hands

refusing to let thickened skin be broken

 

we will strike with the metal thrust against us

building marching orders out of prescribed instructions

we will take arms out of the rage in tediously pressed sleeves

and reject clean, rigid shapes, held by wire frames

we will unpick the threads we have been made to stitch

across our own opening eyelids

 

we will strike iron through irony

 

rip away creases, once removed from linen

that have re-appeared on our dirt-smeared brows

our spirits pressed with fabric

that we might one day burn

 

we will strike while the iron is hot

 

we will capture sparks from fiery metal

and brand them into the holes in our eyes

we will use the flames of stubborn strength

to singe striding steps aimed on top of our rising shoulders

we will fight against the thud of shoes we have mended

refusing to be trodden, again, into dirt

 

we will strike while the iron is hot

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Semaphore

we spoke only in semaphore subtext

 

cloth colours waving wild

drawing the shapes of sentiment

that we could never speak out loud

 

we thrust flags in each other’s faces

left them to dot our far-off hills

pretending we couldn’t read them

when they spelled out the true distance between us

 

I wish your words had been painted in red

I might have seen the paint between your outlines

I might have learned I wasn’t colour-blind

 

my words fell beneath black ink

covering my bone-white cries

 

when cold sweat stripped their coating

pale surrender laced my final flag

the words my voice could never reach

About the contributor

Sarah Jane Justice started developing her creative skills from a young age. Her formative years saw her studying piano, voice, saxophone and theatre, but her greatest passion was always in creative writing. Before finishing primary school, she had already begun pouring her heart and soul into poetry and storytelling, a devotion that has continued to this day.

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