The Canal Lady – Parts 1, 2 & 3 by Natalie Crick

The Canal Lady – Part 1

The canal was still and hushed at night
Like a beautiful painting.
I could see their silhouettes in the little boat
Like a puppet show.

Eyes were everywhere.
Lantern lights flickered on the canal
And shadows floated on the water.
The moon shone down like her conscience.

I saw her arms moving
Like ten thin rakes.
They were all alone together in the dark
In their own little world.

She said
“I have to see my Mother.
I am going to visit my Brother”.
That’s what she said

The faces are coming.
She hid her head like a troll in a dark tent
Where she could have a good time
Being another person.

The Canal Lady – Part 2

O Christ! She was explicit.
Ten days of darkness.
I shall kill,
Kill all of the ill.

Everything swam around and stank
Until she went blind.
Shaking the baby up and down, up and down.
This place, it was the centre of her world.

When her sister committed suicide
She lost her wits,
Banished to bedlam
Like a wasp in a nest.

Passing by: a cyclist,
A walker.
The pedestrian,
She knew something was wrong.

Something was staring out, breathing
From the boat
Rocking on the water
Like a cradle.

The Canal Lady – Part 3

They started to talk about her Brother.
He had stopped coming.

She had two legs,
Arms and hands
And she was a Woman
And a Mother.

She sucked out his soul
To catch the devil
And find out the truth.
Come here you little shit.

To think of all of the days,
Sitting in here together,
And her son
With a spider for a best friend.

She loved creeping around the boat.
Creep, creep, creep, creep,
Dreaming of Winter.
And that’s the reason why she jumped.


Natalie Crick has found delight in writing all of her life and first began writing when she was a very young girl. Her poetry is influenced by melancholic confessional Women’s poetry. Her poetry has been published in a range of journals and magazines including Cannons Mouth, Cyphers, Ariadne’s Thread, Carillon and National Poetry Anthology 2013.



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