Because Tonight the Beach

Because tonight the beach will consider its life,
its lack of a future, tree hair thinning
and tree heart turning to stone or splinters of ice

they will arrive now, the snow girls, swimming in
from their islands, weightless detonations of paper or marble
or light, casting no shadow and wearing no shoes.

Not asking what country, whose footsteps or features or fable,
they’ll travel together like raiders, sending their ghosts
of previous weather curling across the dunes

feathering stonework and fences, their deepening presence
an absence, a plainness of speech laid on car parks and lawns,
a glimpse of a possible future, making a difference

to everything, this arrival of strangers, now –
familiar, unblemished, and just the right age for snow.

Jane Draycott


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