Williamstown Window

My father saw it first,
the body on the rocks.
Sounds like a drink,
used to be a person.
Death alters pronouns,
eschewing kinship.
Rain in the west, an iron afternoon,
my father at his bay windowed bay view
watched a strong cross current
fretting the grey,
the black rounded rocks
like beached whales.
If she thought the sea
would draw her free and away,
out and down,
as she turned her back on the shore,
she was mistaken.
It carried her merely, and swiftly,
across to our rock pools
and the outcrop “islands” of childhood,
one for each of us, my brothers and me.
My father saw her first,
the remnant woman:
skirt billowed out,
buttocks up, white and shining,
as she drifted
out of the wash of the sea
into chill Wednesday air of June,
outstretched arms scuffing the rocks.
She got it part right,
being successfully dead,
though surprisingly unspoiled:
no time for a sea-change,
neither stiffened nor swelled.

The Sunday sea was sunshot silk:
dogs and kites, lovers on the green,
and small children summoning
a hundred gulls
with scraps of bread.
Had she waited till Sunday
would she still have done it?

Grief and Loss