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Posted on December 31 2018




Is this the hottest summer on record?

It seems so, day after day we are ironed

out under a steamy sky.


By mid July the rendering on our house

cracked from floor to ceiling, the well

in the cellar dried out, no water to catch

coins visiting children throw, their eyes

tight shut, wishing for wonders.


At night the garden swoons snagging

the slightest breeze, heavy headed lilies

lift, droop back. We skirt the dry grass

walk out into the streets, stand in long

shadows, breath thick air and, bat blind,

stumble back, hands outstretched, touch

stone walls, long for cathedral coolness

but all they give up is their heat.


Night after night we don’t speak but lie

side by side                        not touching



Lyn Thornton is a part-time University Tutor, specializing in Shakespeare, theatre, and 20th Century poetry. She has previously had her work published in Stand Magazine (2016), Ashmolean Ekphrasis Poetry Magazine (2016), and Oxford University Magazine (2015). She has an MA in Creative Writing from RHUL.


Carol Ann Duffy says: ‘Heatwave’ by Lynn Thornton is a very sensual piece – ‘heavy-headed lilies lift’, ‘breathe thick air’, ‘long for cathedral coolness’ – that uses a description of the heatwave to convey how a couple’s relationship has been ‘ironed out’, ‘cracked from floor to ceiling’. 


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