Christian Ward πŸ”ˆβ€‹β€‹

The Selkies Next Door

I’m certain a family of selkies
lives next door. How else to explain
seagulls squabbling over the breadcrumbs
of unpaid gas bills? The sudden
appearance of a basking shark,
bigger than their battered Volvo,
in the garden pond? Swabbing
floors with a wig of seaweed?
Storm petrels squawking whenever
pirate ship rain-clouds circle
their chimney? Worshipping puddles
like they’re shallow rock pools?
The bottle cap shingle of a makeshift beach
by the back door? Skinny dipping
in a Jacuzzi’s diminutive sea
under the protective gaze of a full moon?
Perhaps their sealskins are locked away
in a man’s ribcage, convinced the ocean
owed him one after it swallowed
everything, and threw up bones,
a childhood stolen by reckless tides.

Author Reading

About the Author

Longlisted for the 2023 National Poetry Competition, Christian Ward’s poetry has recently appeared in Acumen, Dreich, Dream Catcher, London Grip, The Shore, The Westchester Review, and elsewhere. He won the 1st 2024 London Independent Story Prize for poetry and is looking forward to fully recuperating from cancer and a subsequent spinal injury.