For Anne

There are no footprints in the sand –
the cormorants kill close to the shore
confident and undisturbed.
We watch from the garden gate, unsure

when the beach will be ours again to share,
and if this glimpsed peace is a promise or
insentient indifference –
though either way, will such calm restore

a long-lost balance, prompting a new
acknowledgement less can be more,
or the moment we can, will we instead
unleash the past, let engines roar

into the skies and down the roads
now every day a Yom Kippur
as we each shrug off whatever it is
we seem invited to explore

while there’s no way to hold or kiss
all those who touch us to the core,
or to seek forgiveness, face-to-face,
from those we’ve hurt; or to ignore

this sense what matters most is some
maybe mere wish-fulfilment law:
that we live with love, or else we die,
whatever our frail lives might be for?

Tom Vaughan

If you have any thoughts on this poem,  Tom Vaughan
would be pleased to hear them.