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by buffy foster

Split-second scarlet, richer even

than blood in the water,

the pond holding the glare of the sun

where it can, plastered lilypads

protecting the pool, and red and yellow

rhododendron flowers splaying

onto the surface, squidgy little starlets.

The sun tries to reach through,

tries to burn holes in the droplets puddling

on the flat leaves

but no luck. Next to me,

you radiate the same hot red,

and I wonder what I’ve done wrong

this time. “What’s up?”

“Nowt.” As you answer, it sets,

the pond dyes pink, then returns

blue-green, the same colour

I’m remembering, blink

of an eye, as a kid, somewhere in Wales,

we watched a newt

waddle up and out of the blue-green water.

It sat for a moment, on the shallow,


but under its chin fiery red,

some sort of defense mechanism

I couldn’t fully work out, that red underbelly

reflected, eyeing us from the water.

Back when I didn’t know what it was, and

dad told me the name and we all watched

in awe as it riddled away.


Buffy Foster studied BA (Hons) English Literature with Creative Writing, followed by an MA in Literature. She is an avid writer of poetry and a big fan of Sylvia Plath. She currently lives in the North of England with eight pet rats.


Image by Bree Anne
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