Anne Bonny and Mary Read, 18th century pirates – Sue Watling


Anne Bonny and Mary Read, 18th century pirates

We will birth girls,
astride the waves,
in the swing of a hull,
to the keen of gull,
and rattle of black fingered reef.

I’ll teach them to bind their breasts,
while you sew pouches for blood,
they’ll straddle rigging,
tilt with the tide,
while all through the night,

boat beds rock them with salt star
dreams of tarnished moons and flying fish.
When we dock in a harbour,
houses will scare them
for how can the world be made of stone,

when breathing is motion,
life is curves,
and living means
finding your feet
on uncertain ground.



Sue Watling lives near the River Humber in the UK, where she has an allotment and keeps honeybees.  Sue has had work published in a range of journals including The Adriatic, Seaborne Magazine, Tide Rises, Amethyst Review, DawnTreader, Saravasti, Green Ink Poetry, ASP Literary Journal, and Dream Catcher.

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