by Jess Williams

I looked for you
amongst the gorse
prickled yellow luck
snagging on summer dresses.

I wondered if you were
in the yew tree that
the other kids climbed
outdating God himself.

I looked for you
in a box of cheesecloth skirts,
a glitter-striped top,
pantomime costumes.

I tried on tutus, catsuits
and Mummy’s wedding dress,
until they fitted and
I could not pretend.

I devoured page on page
to find a mention you existed,
poured out of the mouths
and pens of strangers
who stuck up LOST signs of their own

I took a chisel and
chip chip chipped to see
if you’d spring fully formed
from the heart of an oak.
There all along.

I excavated the ruins of castles,
swallowed ships’ logs,
peered through a telescope at the stars.
Faces and faces
of friends, lovers, children
and I could not quite make you out.

I asked about you
and you were indescribable.

Jess Williams | @jessandotherstories

Jess Williams lives in Cambridge where she writes down poems she finds in the hollows of trees or behind the sofa. 

Support Dear Damsels

We are passionate about sharing women’s voices. By becoming a member of our Patreon you can help support our platform, so that more women can go on to share their words.

Sign up to our Patreon