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WATCHING THE STORM

From Llandwyn Beach we watch – safely, distantly –

rain clouds, across the bay and the beginnings

of the Irish Sea, obscure the coast

and then the three mountain peaks, one by one,

of the Ll?n Peninsula. We hear thunder

trundle on the high ground and rumble

in the valleys, and see lightning fork,

furnace yellow, in the ash grey clouds.

 

Watching a storm at such a calm remove

is like two scholars in faux panama hats

watching the past, observing history.

The tide is much further out than ever;

low rocks exposed we have never seen, brown

with rack, adorned with limpets, mussels, clams;

Caernafon Bar ghostly beneath the waves.

We have been side by side on Traeth Llandwyn

at least once almost every year

since August ’62 – the month Mandela

was arrested, and Marilyn Monroe died.

 

We had walked from Newborough village

through the plantation of pine saplings

to bind the dunes, keep sand from barricading

doors, occupying the cemetery.

We were alone that first summer’s day,

the wide, embracing strand entirely ours.

 

The wind shifts suddenly with the tide.

We pack away our novels – Colm Toíbín,

Anne Tyler – and fold up our chairs. We pass

a large jubilant family gathering

setting up a windbreak and a barbecue.

As we drive along the metalled road,

through what has become a forest, the rain falls –

wipers flick it away.

 

 

 

© Copyright David Selzer
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