for Angela

A sea-bird gambolled down.
It stood a short time near me and I thought
it would be worth the capture, being caught . . .
so strong and elegant, and swell and cheeky –
so trim and all-complete, yet smiling-beaky –
I thought as that bird walked around
that this was something I had found
to be my own.

A butterfly came honing in
and seen up close, unutterably fine
its wings were: all that brilliance was mine,
heaped on me: and a lovely darting gesture
accompanied my stiff long-legged posture
till I was one with that fair thing; and yet
I valued it for what I could not get –
its lack of sin.

A girl went out the door
and I was left behind
finished as seaweed or hay. I had been blind
to all except the bright-winged things of fancy.
But the sea still beats in frenzy,
and the grass where the butterflies touch springs up in vain –
a hopeless, open greeting is dumb in my brain
for her I saw.

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