Against Despair

1 August 2015

Sunlight burnishes the wooden floor
where each chair has been placed
in precise relation to the long table.
Cutlery and glassware stretch their parade-ground
gleam the whole length and in regular bursts,
lavender and small yellow roses lean awry
in vases, as if there is such a thing
as good intent.

The timbers of the old jetty grow soft with salt.
Water seeps.
Beneath, the piles are emaciated, but just for now
they resist the slurp, suck of the tide, the undermining.
Marine larvae have scored the wood surfaces
with sleepwalking meanders.

In the window there are two candles, unlit.
They’re visible from the street.
A match-box with its sides unmarked so far
rests on the sill, by the latch, as if there is still time
for patience.

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