I stepped out on the path in the near-dark,
and the sea stretched patient on the mud flats,
a sea almost waiting in memory,
between two indistinct thoughts of land.
The half-life of the sun was nearly gone,
And sky seemed thin and pure – a fragile thing,
of stalks picked out sharp from the tender shore,
a shape for the shadows cast in darkness.
On the sand I wheeled the bike, like a friend,
lifting her at cross-beam and handle bar
when the pebbles clogged the tyre to a halt,
cross the last stretch to the ferry there.
He waited, sanguine, shaped out of the salt-
earth and water, like a guardian
or gatekeeper of folk-tale and fable.
No words, just the chugg of the motor,
the gentle slap of the tide on the boat,
the call of the wheeling gull above.
Spanish fortresses dotted the shore-line
each topped with shells, scattered runes in sand.