THE MEANING OF MUNDESLEY Wendy Webb
Raging winter storms left the promenade
in a state of disrepair: beach huts in primary shades
temporarily beached in a farmer’s field.
Returning to a vanishing, what remains?
A solo swimmer crawls across the ocean,
emerging bronzed as lobster from the Med;
all hairs stand chill in concentrated grit
of pebble paths or gravel to the shade
of this cliff faced in grass and steeping climb:
to the eyrie of the coastguard’s flag poles and museum
and blue of endless summer sky.
A nubile pre-teen loiters in the curve
of waters pooled around the groyne,
where tots in sun-suits paddle without burn
of bare shine on fair skin:
Lovers cream bare calves and thighs and arms
of women lying absorbed between the sheets
of fat pulp fiction, frictioned by its thrill,
while others – bored and blond – spread empty legs
around a camp of sunscreen, surf boards, spades.
No Purple Patch of ocean deeps to dark
the gentlest shade of air spread to the sky,
horizoned by the press of Midlands’ air:
relaxing into Wells or teashop Cley.
Here is all sun and sand and sea and sky,
to lie away depressions for a while;
and here my son unframed the grey surround:
my morning shade of grumbling by the mirror…
For he saw me through his love.