I am waiting as the night comes in waves,
Waiting as soft foot steps home-hurrying pass,
Waiting as imprints and half-prints are hushed to insect hum.
And under the cover of a willow’s grieving bends
I wait and watch the water swallow dark.
The day is over-worked and aching for bed,
As longest day is done,
As autumn begins her distant beckoning.
And night creates such colours to make the most of her short call.
And through the budding curtains I see the boat.
Rounding the bend with low slung heaving,
The water giving smooth progress for the sweat.
I cup the paper ship in my hands-
All folds and creases binding her will to mine.
I am holding time and my breathing,
But Battering wings shatter the stillness;
A birds sets flight from above me
And in the vacuum left behind,
A feather falls with rocking motion on the updraft.
My hand shoots into the twilight,
Pale and vein mapped as paper written in blue ink.
The plume is young and dark, traced with fluff.
It crowns the ship and tickles in the wind.
I am waiting as the oars drag onwards,
As the slop and slide rises
As my ship begs to be cast off,
I am waiting for the air to pass,
I am waiting for the birds to lift.
And off, off, off on the glass surface,
Barely a bend as she sails,
Night-feather flickering, like a candle in reverse.
And the rower sees the messenger cutting her path towards him.
And the rower scoops her sodden form just before the wreck.
But I am nothing to the night.
Off down dark paths and over clipped lawns.
As the rower reads the letter.
And too changes course.