I stand on shingle when you leave the world.
As if they always knew I would be here,
The ships appear, with colours all unfurled,
And rest on sea that ripples, calm and clear,
So far above bones smothered in the ooze.
I watch you silently when you embark.
Despite my wish, you can no longer choose;
The ships tack west too soon, to distant dark –
An island shadowed in the evening light.
The ocean follows suit, becoming ink,
And I trudge home to dream of wrong and right.
Since you sailed first, I cannot help but think
That there are none on shore to watch for me
When I must board those phantom ships at sea.
I was prepared to feel alone, expected the government-mandated 2-metre gap to yawn between us, cold and hostile. I expected these new spaces to be