A yacht on Hillsborough Pond
Three brothers and a ball. Dumped bicycles.
Their father’s yacht. Uncertain
how to handle a tin rudder, a hand-stitched sail,
unveiled from a childhood before theirs.
We stand for his camera
the width of two hands between us,
reeds at our backs bucking in the wind.
As if this image contains somehow whatever happened next.
That’s as if this tumbler here, flecked with tobacco,
is made real by me seeing it.
I can also see through it.
No, this photograph imagines what it saw
brothers’ envies, father’s light meter tight in his hand
as mine sets on the water the yacht to follow the wind.
Like a carrier bag caught in a tree
all the words fall out
so its shapes are made of wind,
breathed by passers-by, greyed,
by frost and the depredation of crows
until shreds of polyethylene
tickertape the path with plastic autumn
where it’s scuffed underfoot by children with sticks
shouting their borrowed language.
Copyright © Noel Williams 2013
“Noel Williams is co-editor of Antiphon (antiphon.org.uk). His first collection, Out of Breath will be published by Cinnamon Press in 2014.”