staring at the wrangle rock wrecked sea
[it’s message is confused from the North Americas]
are you perhaps the daughter?
once young now old but nevertheless
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?
perhaps these sensations are foreign born
perhaps, not understanding the mother
you might find her here in the gulls
the ravens 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,
holidaymakers expressionless sitting in baying bungalows
still calm like exhibits in a Jo Hogg film
as 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 empathised?
And your thoughts?
Who can say
after Kleinzahler and for Mary, whose bench resides on Polzeath cliffs before Greenaway.