Clare Hepworth-Wain


To mark her passing


His skin

bears no imprint.

No death dent

lies upon him.

A broken barometer

stuck on Fair, friends tell him

it’s a good sign

but privately wonder.

They expected grey

for surely skin wears pain

the way a coat wears weather

and drab should prevail?

Perhaps he sidestepped the void

looked the other way, like he skirted

round the open casket.


Later, in slow home-alone hours

he pokes his chest

watches thin tissue dimple

and rise again.

Mocking him

instead of bearing witness.

He tells it so with the knife.

It speaks skin’s language

and taking boxed ashes, he smears soot

in the wound.

He will bind her to him yet.

Watch as she works

her way to the surface

trapped in purple weals.

His favourite colour.

Clare Hepworth-Wain started to submit poems last year and they have been published in the poetry magazine Dawntreader, in the pamphlet Voices and Memory, and online in Campus, Poetry 24, Nutshells and Nuggets, Hinterland, The Stare's Nest, and The Open Mouse. Clare lives in Exmouth, Devon, England.