Out the cabin window. A poem by Anne Tannam

the sea shadow boxes with the falling dusk,
while the wind makes light of all
she’s had to leave behind.

The emptiness sitting
under her breastbone
she stores under the cabin seat,
where her childhood dog
is curled, whimpering
in his sleep.

She stows away the letters they sent
to each other that first summer;
and the twenty-nine years of memories,
a place is found for those too.

Hidden from view but humming,
compass, sextant, charts are answers
encoded on the palms of her hands,
while out on deck, the horizon
scans her eyes for signs
of a fresh olive leaf
cradled in the beak of a dove.


Anne Tannam is a Dublin poet whose third collection ‘Twenty-six Letters of a New Alphabet’ is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry later this year. For more information on Anne’s poetry, visit her website here.

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