For Louise

And the dark tide will take you out
and the long swell will draw you home…
and the wild winds, and the gull’s cry,
and the singing in the rigging,
and the restless chop of water,
and the hanging light at midnight,
and its broken starred reflection,
as you cross the charted waters
with your hand firm on the tiller.
You are not afraid of distance,
you are not afraid of changing,
with your head thrown back to meet them,
you are small and strong and steady,
with the land breeze, and the salt spray,
and the long swell to draw you home.

(For Louise Mallory.)  16th December 2011.