Vic

Kevin Crossley-Holland

Stirs; quite delicately sips;
yawns over Friday’s yellowed Advertiser ...

Outside is cold as inside
is cold, wind flights over the marsh,
the walls of the sky drip
as Vic already rises,
eases himself out, pink and primed,

into the beginning –
shapes still inchoate,
pewter on oyster, seacoal on zinc.
Time never was for pondering.

Banjo far-off on the brew!
A taste of plickplack in the air!
No smell of sharp rain!
His sense of day is animal
and utterly secure.

Crossing the yard
he gossips
with passerines in the thistle scrub;
hails and cajoles the two Suffolks
(the black gelding and chestnut mare)
into the shafts ...

Didn’t you see his wading walk?
That almost inward smile?
He is this land’s stage manager –
dawn corrugator,
trawler of a thousand screaming gulls –

overseer
in the candid light
watching you for one moment
longer
than you watched him.