The Stretch

by Maya Little

The uneven rules, and the edges are
surplus to requirements. Link fences
sway, and pebbles crawl up to shape the path.
Boulders, too square and sure to belong here,
peer at the sea and squint earthwards, the sky
unnervingly bright today. They can’t believe
in something so lacking organisation;
clouds uncorralled, rain unrestrained, sun

                  Sometimes, shipwrecks unsubmerge.

All this, shoring up a path that thinks of
forwards only, a flattened palm from whose edge,
we reel away, half trying to tip off
instead. The gritted-teeth hedgerow stops us,
kale, oxeye daisies, other gnarling things,
they hold the path’s side so hard, they hardly
have to grip at all. This stretch, running from
the eye, inhabited by the movers
and by the standers still, hinges itself
between the sometimes shrieking railway tracks
and the rabbling of stone into sea.