Sunday walks

for my parents Costa and Argiroulla

On Sundays they would stroll
along the sandy beaches
in Yarmouth and Lowestoft,
among the surly gulls
and uneasy locals

adapting to the guttural tongue
of herring and oil rig,
towns bowed by poverty;
and a coastline clipped
like a granite angel’s wing

to be near the sea
and also perhaps
for its augurs and gifts –
a dolphin shaped swell far off
and white pebble hearts
to carry back

some elemental link
to a home or mother
still sighing over them
even after half a century,
over an ocean
wider than time.

They walked along
the water’s chilly edge
like migratory birds;
renewing themselves
and making peace with it,
every time they returned.

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