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For months I’d moved across the open water

like a wheel under its skin, a frictionless

and by then almost wholly abstract matter

with nothing in my head beyond the bliss

of my own breaking, how the long foreshore

would hear my full confession, and I’d drain

into the shale till I was filtered pure.

There was no way to tell on that bare plain

but I felt my power run down with the miles

and by the time I saw the scattered sails,

the painted front and children on the pier

I was nothing but a fold in her blue gown

and knew I was already in the clear.

I hit the beach and swept away the town.

Wave

Don Paterson

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