Grey water stilled by the turning tide,
All things bated between the inbreath and the out
But us, and a dozen paper boats
Strung along the water where the river
Lifts itself over the grey sand, wet stones.
Against this colourless, this shining, lay
The bright flat sails. One pin-sharp hour
They flowered on the Thames; then slid under
The grey drift and the relentless years.
You on the shore, what were you thinking?
A grown man and a groaning woman
Handing these colours to the darkening river,
Each neat shard of sunset, sunrise,
Midsummer sky, spring leaf, sweet orange,
A piece, and another, and another, of our lives
Taken back, little boats, as we turned homewards,
The which of us unmoored,
The which of us dissolving?