Island poems: Motherland
The pot half-full of cold tea in the morning:
I knew you'd gone.
and piles of washing-up
filled your space.
What kind of place is this without you?
Where the yolk sun is a constant,
Sea-foam and silver-fish foreign to me
as bright stars in your city sky.
Marooned - beached, where the hummingbirds gather
and hover, the grass is scorched and straw-like
Not greener on this side
Four thousand miles wide of home.
Why didn't you come to see us?
Spread like sheets to the wind -
Faces half-drenched in sunlight,
Waiting for you. The small girl. The boy. The rangy one.
I clawed myself away on that grey-drizzle day:
A clinging hand, each nail prized off
until free-fall... into what? Paradise?
No. A different kind of life.
A slow start. All hoops and steps -
no safety nets. So I didn't say on the phone.
My voice a sad old tune
Listless and longing for a shoulder of love
But you were a broken bell
And I, in a summer that never ends
Where holidays come and go
Where holidays come and go.