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Her father embarked at sunrisewith a flask of water, a samurai swordin the cockpit, a shaven headfull of powerful incantationsand enough fuel for a one-wayjourney into history
He must have looked for down at the little fishing boatsstrung out like buntingon the blue-green translucent sea
In a figure of eight the dark shoals of fishes flashing silver as their bellies swivelled towards the sun
Him and his brothers waiting on the shore built cairns of pearl-grey pebbles to see whose withstood longest
Yes, grandfather’s boat safe to the shore, salt-sodden awash with Cloud-marked mackerel, Black crabs, feathery prawns the loose silver of withbait-fishing.
And though he came back my mother never spoke again in his presence, nor did she meet his eyes and the neighbours too, they treated him as he no longer existed.