Shape Shifter


For Jo Bell

As a child, you did not understand how I could also be a solid.
That in winter, you could hold in your hand an ice cold shard.
You tried to remember me in summer, how I had flowed then like a river,
sunlight glancing off the surface as you swam with your father.

And then, as if by magic, I performed a new trick, and evaporated.
Though you thought you caught sight of something, some vapour
that vanished with a little puff as it was devoured.
And the possibility of change that hung in the air made you shudder.

H two O was what remained the same, and you were glad to learn
that beneath it all, there had always been this constant form.

This poem was written in response to Jo Bell’s challenge to write a poem celebrating National Poetry Day 2013. The brief was provided on Twitter.

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