A Wilding Night

Tonight the wind changed and I smelt the sea.
Salt tang and seaweed, fish brine and mudflats.
It smelt like freedom
like sails come undone, unfurled and
finally arching loose in a southbound wind.

There is a sweet bitterness in the air.
The trees are spreading and opening
and ripening into themselves, they
are speaking in whispers
like the things that people say
to one another beneath unfurled sheets on wilding
summer nights.

I crouch on the lawn and pee
next to the dog, who looks askance
amused perhaps at my intrusion
upon his nightly rounds of the hedge.
And there are strangers in cars
driving past unseeing
for at last it is dark out, it is dark
and this is my street and my yard
and my house so like a quiet ship
waiting to sail me into sleep.

Only the sound of the wind in the trees
with its bold and briny smell
fit to make a sailor blush; yes, only
the wind is here to see me off to bed
in my little house so like a ship under its own
half moon
on a wilding night in June.

KB © 6/29/2013


Popular Posts