Not at the eleventh hour

Quiescence – the moon
flirts in a shift of cloud,
the night-blossom hangs
heavy, with the weight
of a breast held
in the lover’s hand
Streetlights steady,
cars slewed to a halt –
here, now,
again, the river
smuggles seawards
hidden in its flood
And let not praise
be the qualified, almost too late,
propped deathbed cry,
but uttered whenever
the secret opens,
broad as sunlight –
From the skein of the water,
from the yaffle’s unshared joke,
or the robin of the bush,
tilted in attendance
on the air: from each
contingency that gives
love its bearings

from Waking Dreams: New and Selected Poems (Bloodaxe, 2010), © Lawrence Sail 2010, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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