On our trip to England, we spent four days on the Isle of Wight, a famed haunt of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. It is a beautiful place. We were fortunate to stay in the Royal Hotel, perched high above the sea with a magnificent view. This poem is a series of impressions from riding around in the coach (never call it a bus!) and vague ideas about what it might be like, to be a teen or twenty-something with nothing but sea around you and no way to leave except the ferry. I inserted the swallows, after hearing someone rave about the murmurations of swallows they had seen.
Me, personally? I could stay forever.
Crows’ nests in the Y’s
Of the sparsely-leaved trees,
Like little black whirlwinds of stick.
Wire balls and pyramids
Perch on the top
Of the chimneys, so pigeons won’t sit.
Rigid, plump seagulls
Stand watch there, like scarecrows,
While murmurs of swallows all tilt,
Sweeping ravenous brooms
Through the cavernous sky
Till their beaks all with insects are filled.
You need ferries to come here
And ferries to leave.
A palaver, to get off the Isle.
And the farmland is fed
With the woebegone youth,
Discontented, to traipse so few miles.
But they come back, at midlife,
And try it again,
For the call of the sea haunts the brave.
They come back, yes. But stay?
Well, one isn’t quite sure.
Claustrophobia rides on the waves.
Copyright 2023 Andrea LeDew