Harbour Lights

I used to love seeing
the lights of the boats coming in
green and red, steering
(I could tell) a little too far
to starboard for comfort

the risk of those seamen
rounding the harbour mole
their kinship with the night
knowledge of the dark things
I knew only by repute

but then I was coming in to harbour
myself and I saw the lights of land
colours too big to count
a ceaseless drone of life
and began to understand

homecoming joy, wringing
out the turtlenecks, fishermen’s
friends, ‘the many men
so beautiful’ on coastal shelf
and resounding in the deep waters.

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