The Beach at La Villette

A poem


At St. Martin’s the stones are celadon,

olive, ochre, and lavender, rose-cream.


At La Villette the sands were grey

and pale brown like a tawny fur.


The night we walked up from the beach

our shadows strode before us, more defined


than our dusk selves. No rocks, no gems,

nothing to carry home with us —


but moonlight on the field where, in deep grass,

the small white orchids gleamed like dew.


The dog danced on ahead of us.

The road was brilliant as a page;


we could have written our names on it.