To the front, as night is falling

Those who set up home by the sea
must consider the tides, and we do.

At the end of the day we walk to the sea, and talk
of the incoming, outgoing, neap and full,
high, ebb, spring and flood of the tides.

We consider the moon that sucks the tides;
full, horned, gibbous and pale,
waxing and waning, ringed and red.

The children, the ecstatic dogs
louche youths under the granite walls,
have gone to earth.

we sniff the wind that tickles the waves:
simoom, sirocco, willywar, breeze;
dip our squealing toes in the gravelly sea;
imagine the world that lies beneath –
its mountains and rifts, its wrecks, its bones;
the uplifting, collapsing of rock.

Each morning he gets up,
shakes his memory and the day to life –
and if his eyes, his ears, his legs
are every day a little less,
the balance holds. Evening will come.

Walk me to the sea, he says then,
Holding out his hand to save me from drowning.

Ann Alexander