Immigrants by Louise Wilford


We sail across the sky to Lonely Isle,
a lozenge in the ether, filled with sand.
You steer us into harbour, tie up while

I scan the hills, eyes shaded by my hand.
We step onto the mossy-green seawall,
take lungfuls of the salt-air of this land.

The breeze is cool. I huddle in my shawl.
We know that here our life will start anew,
that here we’ll scratch a living—fly or fall.

We’ll tend this planet, though the sky is blue
—and whether our tired heartstrings sing or sigh.
Our hopes are many but our needs are few.

This soil will make us prosper, wet or dry.
Whatever comes, we’ll stay here till we die.

Louise Wilford lives in Yorkshire, UK. Her work has been widely published, most recently in Bandit, English Review, Goats’ Milk, Jaden,Makarelle, POTB, The Fieldstone Review, and Parakeet. In 2020, she won the Arts Quarterly Short Story Prize, the Merefest Poetry Prize, and was awarded a Masters in Creative Writing (Distinction). She is working on a children’s fantasy novel. She blogs at Lou’s Writing News, Cues and Reviews.

Editor’s Note: This is a terza rima, an Italian form popularized by Dante.

Image Credit: Lonely Isle from Sea of Thieves