House, Kennack Sands. Cornwall
House teeters on the cliff’s high edge,
looks out across the drizzling, grizzled shoreline.
House must keep her head in the clouds
so she is careful never to look down.
House is stubborn, built square and stout.
Once her feet were planted in tomorrow.
Now the red earth retreats, loosens its grip,
shifts a little more with every day.
But still House goes on. Stares out the weather.
Hears the grey gulls squabble and screech.
Her blue eyes are dull. Her roof, her stone,
knows the end of things will come when it will.
Let waves crash and roar, let wind have its way;
let the elements perform their very worst.
House stands for all that. She endures her undoing,
loves her blisters and her overgrown gutters;
finds something to honour in her damp
and rotting timbers and her long neglected flaws.
House is bold, defiant. She nurses those cracks
that go creeping through her weedy foundations,
where small creatures scuttle in the twilight hour,
where one day she will open at the seams.
Abigail Elizabeth Ottley Wyatt writes poetry and short fiction. Her work has appeared in more than a hundred magazines, journals and anthologies. The author of ‘Old Soldiers, Old Bones and Other Stories’, she works from her home in Cornwall.