In Ballycastle

for Gerardine

This isn’t Chesil Beach.

You can pick up stones and pebbles without fear of fine
or punishment. So we skim the sand and find beauty
here encased in stone:

Images of things we hold inside, like granite slabs shot through
with lighter lines and pearls of pealing laughter
amid a darker sea.

But the two pound stone you find, granite grey and glittering,
and deem too heavy to take home, stays here in
a column you arrange for it with care.

Passing monument to these skies, this beach, this sea,
hard and soft as stone sandpapered by the shingle
swirling with the tide.

So when they ask us what did you bring back, we will say
pebbles from the beach at Ballycastle-O,

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