A former, kindly colleague wants to know if I’m ok.
The neighbours text to ask if I can feed the cats next week.
A child smiles from the garden gate. The postman says hello.
A daughter makes her daily check to see if I am still alive
– whether driven by filial love or obligation, I cannot tell,
and what’s the difference anyway?
These are the little waves that suck and stroke about my feet
as I stand here on the hard shingle of the beach.
They are, I think, the last touches I shall know
of an ocean that has drawn its tide away from me.
Yet here I am, eyes searching that line-drawn edge against the sky,
still hoping, daily, that one more freakish wave might come,
roaring and foaming, to knock me off my feet and pull me under,
and cold enough to make the blood spring back to life.
|For the moment I’m being ‘modern’, and denying myself the discipline of formal metre and rhyme. Instead I’m challenging myself to retain the sense of song that (at this stage in my journey, at least) seems the quintessence of poetry.|