Benched up, watching
staring at the wrangle rock wrecked sea
[its message is confused from the North Americas]
are you perhaps the daughter?
A daughter once young
the daughter of the woman whose name is on the bench?
It says Mary but I read Joy,
for the joy she took at sitting here
are you the daughter who named the bench
and was your relationship joy?
I see the hunched shoulder
waiting to be touched,
the bald spot and seabrack skin
can you not unburden yourself as I stare from behind?
And do you see the way back waves
the steady horizon drawn in relief,
are they your relief
as they were Joy’s?
Or, perhaps these sensations are foreign born
perhaps, not understanding the mother
you might find her here
in the gulls
crying for attention and hanging
like a wave about to peak
suspended and above?
I think about coming to you
I think about approaching your blue jacket to talk about Joy
but people watch,
sitting in baying bungalows
like exhibits in a Jo Hogg film
and my sister and mother, for example,
giant stride the cliff edges, immersed in themselves
Was this your relationship with Joy?
you still sit
I have walked up and down by you many times
but now I must go and leave you
You never knew, did you
how I saw you so often
And your thoughts?
Who can say.
after Kleinzahler and for Mary, whose bench resides on Polzeath cliffs before Greenaway.