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the white boat 51
Long Shadow Time
long shadow instants at hendry's beach
The sun is going down over the slack
Pale surface of a sea at minus tide.
It is large and its light is rich.
Streaming across the water, it
Picks out in bright jags
The crust-like foam which rims
Low-lapping crests easing shoreward.
Onshore the light is soaking into the white, soft-looking
Fur of the fl ank of a black-lipped Samoyed
Which is standing there quietly. The light is shaping
Itself to perfection onto the contours of
The strong legs of the girl who owns the dog.
She's in shorts and sweatshirt; idly
Dabbles her toes in the thin ripplings
Of the backwash; head down, mind elsewhere. The light
Smooths itself with a fi nishing intensity
Over the fi gure of a crippled girl:
She is laughing politely while she shrinks
(But just perceptibly) from an Irish setter
Which has just come dashing madly up to her
While its owner, a thin little girl
Of perhaps seven, mortifi ed, is frantically
Calling out to her `She likes you!'