The tide is at its ebb. Late sun quick-silvers
the narrowed estuary, where river and sea
conflict and oyster catchers race upstream.
An ice cream van’s jingle jangle sounds
across the almost empty sands. ‘O sole
mio’… And you are suddenly there –
aged three – digging with purpose into the dusk.
Your daughter – that longed for, longed for joy –
already strives unprompted towards the sun,
scrabbling beyond the bounds of her play mat!
‘…n’aria serena doppo na tempesta!…’
How calm you are, how fulfilled with love!
As we leave the shore for home, mute swans
fly west – their thrilling wing beats song enough.
Somewhere before us, echoing through the streets,
the ice cream van calls: ‘O sole, sole mio.’