By the seaside

The arguments have already started
Before the car has been fired up
The sun pierces the eyes like a pin
Groggy, the troops pile in the back
Like a leaden sky with trench humour
The back window daubed with cricket bat and fishing net.
The children whine and complain.

With you beside me it would have been different.
Sure, the Sun might not have shown himself
For fear of being outshone,
The waves would have calmed themselves,
Lest your feet be scratched by the sand,
The gulls might have fallen silent
So that they could hear your sighs,
But the gaze of your eyes would have burnt
For the sun. Whatismore your voice
Would have drawn in mermaids.

The motorway journey, pincered by traffic
Would have been music. The map
Would have been drawn on your stomach, your thighs,
The keys in the ignition shells
And on the beach we would have collected pearls.