Maire Fisher

Sea and Steps


I never knew I liked steps;
the ones that lead up into my house.
The dogs sit there and wag their woolly tails.
I never knew I loved all the steps
in my house,
my crooked house that a father built for his sons.
One step takes me from the level of my study down
to the entrance room – if you can call it that.
There are no passages in this house,
just single steps that lead up and down between rooms.
One step has been trodden so many times
there’s a smooth long hollow
worn into the wood.
I never knew how much I loved the steps that lead down to the bedrooms
beneath the house,
down a wooden ladder
(it came from a barn)
to where we sleep.
Sometimes when the wind is in the right direction
we can smell and hear the sea.

Now that I mention it,
I never knew I loved the sea
Clear and turquoise on a winters’ day
or when the sky is a blank of clouds and the sea gun metal.
On days when the wind howls
the sea kicks itself into a fury.
I never knew I loved the sea.
I know, though, there were days when I hated it.
Out on the ocean, crossing from one continent to another,
surrounded by its unrelenting enormity,
its always thereness.
I hated it then.
But now that there are earth diggers
and men with picks
ripping up the road that borders the coast,
the road I travel home,
I realise that I miss the sea

So many things to think of loving
I never knew how much I liked the idea of listing them all.


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