Exeunt

The paddocks present blind flanks to the sun

and to the two of them, the storm king

(a little winded) and his daughter.  Silent, unaware

that her needlepoint art

has unstitched the moment’s design,

she helps him

with his intricate, familiar coat, its pattern today

gold-finialled clouds, impasto sky.

 

Following the track along evening’s channels

he thinks he recognises those clouds

from old movies where they billow behind villages,

over moors, silent as the soundtrack

except for the projector’s pulse.

 

Lights come on

like diadems in lit crescents; tiny

people are moving across the rugby fields,

shouts of encouragement rising with the mist

over suburbs spilled into

late autumn’s crucible.

 

Though assigned to its restraint the weather

reminds him he is in harness, must placate

as he is petitioned. If she bears

instruments about her ears,

he is struggling to remember the music he heard

in the body’s bronze climate. 

 

Perhaps they’ll talk again when saying less

is not a weakening.  For now his cry for the topsails

echoes from promontories of the past. 

Her insouciant ship

tacks into a harbour of exams and friends.

For the departing audience

there is no further scene,

only loose threads of colour, threshed

and flailing

in the harried air.

Meniscus, April 2019