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Tether that can’t stay tight when pulled

and slackened. Each crest


pulls the throat to speech.

Every tug of wave retreating through sand


a silent sob in the chest. She needs

this yielding—of muscles,


the instinct to control—old hurt churned

by surf to softness, roomy fit


a kind of comfort. Ocean loosens

limbs to move, fluid but bound


to current’s direction. Deep streams

stir the silt, settle it in shallows.

Churned by Surf to Softness

by Frances Boyle


Frances Boyle

Frances Boyle is the author of two poetry books, Light-carved Passages (BuschekBooks 2014) and This White Nest (Quattro Books, forthcoming 2019) as well as a novella, Tower (Fish Gotta Swim Editions 2018). Her short story collection with The Porcupine’s Quill will appear in 2020. Frances’s poems and short stories have won national and local awards and been published in literary magazines throughout Canada and in the U.S. and the U.K. She lives in Ottawa.

You can find her on:

Twitter and Instagram (@francesboyle19) and

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