Poetry: A Late Lunch | clivejames.com
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A Late Lunch

How often, when I walked that path
Between the cows becalmed in the water-meadow
And the chink and rattle of small boats on their moorings,
Or went out into your garden with scissors for rosemary
And stood a moment under the warm wide night and the stars,
I wanted it just to go on and on —
The path, the night, and all of us, together,
The drinks tray waiting and the owl or curlew calling
And that blown rose-bush at the window, so much given back
That I thought I’d lost for ever.

Now you’re gone
I see you, G&T in hand, in your favourite chair,
Squinting as you take another drag
Or setting out lunch in sunlight on the brand-new deck
You were so proud of, that last summer. Across the creek,
Those sloping fields where a combine harvester
Crawls up and down between the water’s edge
And the low horizon; glimpsed through leaves,
The little boathouse, wind-bent sedge
And shingle foreshore, where ebb-tide and flood
Wash gently at old pilings and cormorants share
The winding channels and the shining gull-marked mud —
All just going on and on for ever.