The first job is always to go down
to the sea – just to make sure we’ve arrived
I suppose. Not a remarkable beach
and no waves in the pearl-grey of evening.
Rusted chains lay staining the sands, no more
taking the strain of boats against the tides.
The lifeboat house stood like a museum
on the headland, deserted in concrete.
We were, I think, alone – maybe the odd
dog with owner distracted by routine.
It was for me just a marker for what
lay ahead; a time to let the traffic’s
hustle evaporate into sea air.
Then movement caught my eye – your frantic dance
to a music I could not hear. Arms, legs
in spasms of joy; you were completely
absorbed in some wild celebration.
This music though was electric. Discords
threw limbs in a frenzy, as if to escape
your skin and become the sea side. I watched
and did not see, – until now my tears fall.
There in the shade of the playground, apart,
the little boy hides, cowering beneath
the watching eyes and the press of the world;
stiff and alert for the attack; goodness
clutched like a lifebelt in the sea’s frenzy.