My mother all of ninety has to be tied up
in her wheelchair, but still she leans far out of it sideways;
she juts there brokenly,
able to cut
She and I came wandering there through an empty park,
and we laid our hands on a stone parapet’s
fading life. Before us, across the oily, aubergine dark
of the harbour, we could make out yachts –
Swarthy as oilcloth and as squat
as Sancho Panza
wearing a beret’s little stalk
Clear water, in silvery tin dishes
dented as ping pong balls:
a lemon juice tinge of the staling light is in them;
they've a faint lid of dust.
In some last inventory, I’ll have lost a season
through the occlusion
of summer by another hemisphere.
Barely contained by the eyesight,
the beach makes one great arc -
blue ranges overlapped behind it;
each of them a tide-mark.
It has always seemed to me that neutral things would help us
if only we could hear
of their dumb ministry.
On a highway over the marshland.
Off to one side, the smoke of different fires in a row,
like fingers spread and dragged to smudge.
It is the always-burning dump.