We drive home through the
night. It rains.
Caroline falls asleep enthroned upon her
Britax baby-seat, her
face turned to
her wide cheeks tanned from gusty days on Cornish beaches.
The country roads form
a dripping,front-lit stage for owls and mice;
the windscreen wipers draft such grand arcades
as they beat time to thoughtfulness and night.
How Caroline lived to hum
her way along the shingle,
foraging for shells to bring and show,
her face anticipating our delight (they come home with us,
salty in the pockets of her crumpled clothes,
our memories enclosed with their fans and spirals).
As bald day dawns across
the motorway, we stop for coffee
from plastic cups, just us, some rooks and a few bleary cars
parked in a huddle around the coffee shop.
Caroline stirs , as if she
heard an echo of masts jangling at
anchor in the harbour on breezy mornings-then drifts again
out onto the ocean of her dream.