Clean Sand – New Poem (First draft)
My boots are polished by a wave curling into itself.
Salt and sand sneak into holes where the lace goes.
Redcar, ancient fishing place by the red marsh,
once occupied by Anglo Saxons, Robert de Brus,
elk, deer and wild boar.
I haven’t been on this sea front
since I was old enough
to get ice cream bought for me.
We used to sit on an old blanket,
eat quavers and cold sausage rolls,
before looking for nice stones and driftwood
to take home and leave in the porch
with football boots, grass and Argos catalogues.
I see the head of a grey seal,
a tangerine windsurfer not quick enough.
Husky puppies looks as out of place
as Scott did in the Antarctic.
Barnacle Geese overhead,
flying from breeding grounds in Svalbard
to the Solway and Scotland.
The shop that sells lemon tops is closed
but an ice cream cone on a wall
Sand is more sand than glass now,
more sand than condoms,
socks, shoes, bin bags,
fag ends, coke bottles, broken tennis balls
and dog shit.
If I picked up a handful,
I could let it fall through small slits in my fingers
and it would leave nothing in my palm,
just an itch, as if I’d touched the sun for too long.