Thornham stumps

We’ve walked this coast in winter many times

You, always in a hat against the wind,
red hair escaping in whisps,
the dog skittering ahead through the tide’s edge,
kicking up sand, and bright spots of glittering sea
Once, we found a piece of driftwood
smoothed and mellowed by the years,
and dragged it, through the dunes and the marram,
while the gulls fought the gusts
and waders lilted alarm calls from the tideline,
as if protesting our theft.
Laughing, we slid it through the marsh and the reddening samphire.
Now we sit, side by side in the garden,
and smell the sea and smile.

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