We walked in chill October.
The girls were little still, peering down
through pier decking,
watching waves sling dirty spray.
they called for Double Fudge, made
straight for shelter, garish in the cloudy light, a fey,
Edwardian folly signed, Minerva— Ancient Seer.
Boarded over for the winter,
the Yarmouth prophetess
had packed our future in a shopping bag,
The wind never dropped except to rain,
the floribunda patterns of your dress
soaked through: water-colour laughter,
your perfect mouth.
In the café, leaves of Earl Grey shadowed higher planes.
The charted signs are yesterday’s news,
the zealous accident of every breath
for a précis glimpse of heaven.
We walked along the foreshore,
towards spring with wild garlic
and the pinprick purple of orchids, sparking through briar
and bedstraw-yellow tracts.
Only love persists,
the autumn air stick-brittle, electric,
to witness, to remember and forgive, ourselves
at least, a little more the more we live.