THE NAVIGATOR'S WIFE
after Ann Flinders (nee Chappelle) circa 1814
Thought she was going with him
that first time, south into sea and storms
but after 13 years only got him back to die
her eyes already blind from weeping
pressing his cold fingers to the first
copy of his 'Voyages' - too late
he'd already gone - without her again
uncharted this time, and on a ghost ship
beyond landfall from whose silence
no letters ever get back
threading a needle in freezing winter light
rain bumping on the glass
setting her own sad course into the vast
and lonely ocean of another afternoon.
and red faced.
Seducer of lips
and makes love
with the light on.