Flowers on the wire

Flowers on the wire, high over ripples of glass,
all movement slurred, hushed : a ponderous ferry,
pulled on invisible ropes towards shore, casts
a slim line of wash to touch banked pebbles;
sun slides below massed towers of cloud,
spotlights a dedication, ‘I’ll miss you, always,
wherever you are’. Above the sweep of downs
light dies, too slow to measure, forsaking day.

Storm winds will flare unbidden, rip farewell lines,
snatch flowers away. By the slithering cliff no witness
to a life, a death. Just sucked-in breath each time
footsteps pause near the wire, an echo of distress,
just seagulls swerving on the gusts, floating free,
lost souls daring the air, flouting the sea.

Camilla Lambert

Published in The Interpreter's House October 2009

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