Saturday, 5 August 2017

'The Blue House'

The Blue House
Locquirec Harbour, Brittany 

The light beneath the door
is the only noise she makes
as she draws the curtains
right over left
cancelling the sinister
so she will not make a slovenly death.

She had a brother once
loud upon the mornings
who for a season
was mistook for a sailor
found himself on recurrent watches
with only the frets of Archangel to eat.

When he was home
he would terrify their father’s books
rearrange them by maybe breadth of spine
or double-vowels in titles
bless the shelves thus discomfited
hitch rides to his lady in Morlaix.

Sometimes brother and sister
would walk the harbour wall
out and back as the day wore through gull-crow
delivery vans   early shell-hunts
ice-cream altercations   hometime brushdowns
evening canopies jigging the set of the sun.

The summer before their mother died
he painted the shutters blue –
a bout of intent and skilfulness that shocked even him
and took in also the tresses of the yard
the gate that ever after
denied the wind the pleasures of a scritch. 

She misses him
she has nothing
he had nothing but could at least
rub his hands at his boisterousness
whenever the world
opened him the odd cranny or two.

As evening finds its first sleep
before she is left curtain under right
she stands out front
looking up at the house
feeling the blue like a hug
a prayer that fights for an answer.

Locals blow goodnights about her
now and then she replies
so one corner of the harbour-way
is a thrill of small sound
patient enough for the moment
when it must give the night back to itself.