Cupped hands

Under the hanging moon
within the distant thumps of waves
I wander the empty streets of Staithes

The remnant drinkers in the pubs cosy up to the bars
the surfers, satiated on big barrelling waves, dream in their vans
generations of fishermen’s wives no longer know every footfall

I stand in the middle of the street outside our house
through the window I glimpse you all so young
laughing in the glow of the fire you all remain so beautiful

Even through the glass your happy animation is palpable
it spills silently out to where I am already half a shade
wandering the empty streets and ways of Staithes

Time is already tipping its way into your hands, cupped or not
it is neither mine to give nor yours to inherit
time is as it is, trickling down, gushing down

As I move from half a shade to full shadehood
may your waves of animation ripple on, ripple on
may you teach your own children well

may they learn to cup their hands
and drink time while they can

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