year after year I have stood here hip-deep in churning water shoulders hunched against the wind shivering, scrutinizing, flinching from the ocean’s cold fist too fearful of submersion to join in my eyes are trained on you, and you alone out there in Neptune’s fairground where the sun makes mischief casting stars onto briny day board poised to mount the next foaming wave your body is a mirage of mercury and saltwater hungry for the wild alchemy of flightless bodies made winged I watch you plunging back, further back long-limbed and laughing so liquid with rapture that you are almost one with the moon-bridled tide windmilling my arms for warmth fleshy sand mouthing my bone-white feet I take deep, brackish breaths and wonder what strange creatures inhabit the heavy silence beneath this bellowing throat and not all of them benign ride each wave, my boy boldly, triumphantly joyously to the shore… the ocean is vast, glorious, terrifying, thrilling brutal - out there, far from the beach when you rise up for air I will be standing here would that it [...]
Here we are, after everything, sitting with memories warmer to the touch than those frail hands that you caress with shaking fingers. Here we are, after not enough time, seeing those gaudy years flapping there like flags on a showground empty since the caravans moved on. And yet – there is comfort here, in the stillness of the frosted garden, in the sun falling flimsy, in the grey winter branches, in the ribbed socks drying on the airer, the purr of the steel fridge, the cool, carpeted hall, in the photographs of people familiar and fabled, pictures of places imagined and real, gifted trinkets and tea-towels. In this home you have made. In the space that separates each tick of the clock. In the silence between us. Let us not crowd it with words. Let us not disturb the comfort that is here.