Water, speckled like dirty glass
and white foam bearing against
the black feet of cliffs screaming
with mating birds in tangled flight,
waves unite to swallow a rock
formation like a Norman tower
tarnished, burnished. Danger
here and white
birds float like dust – no
sea foam taking animal form.
This is the path I follow. What was her way,
nearly thirty years ago?
Did she stand here, at these cliffs, on this sea?
When I was very young, I believed
she knew everything.
Where the water meets the rock,
it is black. Then red, like rust.
Then fawn, dapple grey, and soon
My mother’s brain did not know everything.
Did she think, standing here,
that there was something hidden,
hard like rock, pressing against her ear?
There is danger here, on these cliffs,
and I wonder: did she go this way?
She, untangled, unattached
floating like so much sea foam
in the silver tarnished air.