The unexpected pounce
of heat against my face.
The evening sun,
not even close to setting,
blazes off the water.

A regatta at Café Regatta
cutting like trim scissors
into the silk blue sea,
flashes of white at their bows.

Warm Spanish laughter
on a breeze just cool enough
to remind this is the Baltic.
May still warrants a fire,
if only for makkara.

The chant of the rowers ‘vet-ooo’
sparks from the waves
before their flags hail into sight.
Oars up as they berth,
a salute to the next crew slipping out.

I am burning to remain
wrapped in this indulgence,
but unshared words
bubble up,
even from this moment,
pushing me on.

The walk back toasts
the other cheek.

Gerry Stewart is a poet, creative writing tutor and editor based in Finland. Her poetry collection Post-Holiday Blues was published by Flambard Press, UK. Totems is to be published by Hedgehog Poetry Press in 2022. Her writing blog can be found at and @grimalkingerry on Twitter.