You send me a pilgrim-monk’s-eye view –
our lord’s footsteps, cinquefoil – gold and silver
sprung out of the sand, foliage like feathers, spray.
Crimson runners are lines on a manuscript,
join what needs to be joined, arteries
of earth and heart: the shudder of the sea
not far away; a sadness in the stretch
and snap of the waves, the way they suck themselves
back, sadder. You steer your course with such grace,
a brother’s footsteps I try to follow
and ask for nothing – amazed when what blooms
in the imprint of each carefully planted heel
and toe is a sudden illumination
of silver and gold. A chance for the mutual,
that amniotic salt we’ve been berthed in
over and over. All I need to do
is open the book of my heart and keep on
looking. Here, traveller – goosewort, richette –
tuck some fresh leaves inside your shoes
to leaven the crossing, our long walking.
From: Reading the Flowers, Arc, 2016.