Severn

When the weather comes always and sideways
it’s not enough, the settling.
Why is this known only and over as first
and not all over again?

Each time the tide overtakes itself
what’s worked loose is moved inland
on river over-running river
carrying off the tree-chimney-telegraph
wreckage of your way home.

It starts with a lapse, a taking back
of background (breeze and creep and song)
a making room for the massive collapse
of distance, a rolling up of the world
into a wave that comes to an end unbroken.

There’s no way home. Ask the man
who turns in his sleep reaching past
his wife for his lover, his lover for his wife
and cries that the lamp must be put out
and puts it out, setting fire to his hair.

Lavinia Greenlaw

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