Clare Hornsby

home: poetry


The last day

We were at the riverbank
You sat heavily tired in the car
I wandered near the tide passing down eastwards
While all the water birds complained in their various voices

The heron watching
Erect in judgment
Nervous, hauled open its wings
And flapped to the opposite bank
Turning its white chest to me from the shadows

The light on this midwinter
Year’s-midnight day
This midwinter-spring still afternoon  
Shone blindingly clear, commanding our attention
‘Be here now!’
And nothing - the city, its work, phones, trains
Meant anything as against this light

Then I thought
This is the last day, maybe the very last
The year closes, its joys well wrapped

I came back to you in the car
To hold and be held
And nothing was so ever sweet and piercingly tender
As your ambiguous touch and smile and glance

The heron flew back across
To stand watching the water 
In the warmth of the low sun
Playing in the world
As I do


Chiswick Mall, December 2012