Wedding the Locksmith’s Daughter
The slow-grained slide to embed the blade
of the key is a sheathing,
a gliding on graphite, pushing inside
to find the ribs of the lock.
Sunk home, the true key slots to its matrix;
geared, tight-fitting, they turn
together, shooting the spring-lock,
throwing the bolt. Dactyls, iambics –
the clinch of words – the hidden couplings
in the cased machine. A chime of sound
on sound: the way the sung note snibs on meaning
and holds. The lines engage and marry now,
their bells are keeping time;
the church doors close and open underground.
from Slow Air (Picador, 2002) copyright © Robin Robertson 2002, used by permission of the author and Macmillan Publishers