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The tide comes in; the tide goes out again

washing the beach clear of what the storm

dumped. Where there were rocks, today there is sand;

where sand yesterday, now uncovered rocks.

So I think on where her mortal remains

might reach landfall in their transmuted forms,

a year now since I cast them from my hand

—wanting to stop the inexorable clock.

She who died by her own hand cannot know

the simple love I have for what she left

behind. I could not save her. I could not

even try. I watch the way the wind blows

life into slack sail: the stress of warp against weft

lifts the stalling craft, pushes it on out.


I’ll go out into the world now.

If I meet a snake I’ll charm it.

It’ll wind round my staff and grow

timid as a lamb. I’ll keep

some books and work by night for choice.

You can have the daily kingdom,

You can have the pots, the pans, the sheets,

You can have the home, the garden.

My body will be my shelter. I’ll

keel off like a snail. If

on a moonlit night you can see my glistening tracks

and are overcome by remorse - tough.

I’ll survive on air and scholarship

and the delight of my own voice

making songs and prayers

and, if I’m greatly blessed, a poem or two.