Quayside, Sunday
by Robert Nisbet

As habitually, Mrs. Williams sweeping up,
brush whisking through Sunday sunlight,
the certainty of spruce pavement.

Dewi’s dog, a brusque fox terrier,
just behind us, in a bank of bush,
has found a shrew, maybe a rat.

Two incomers have booked online for the opera,
Cardiff, next weekend, but emerge now,
taste the cleanness of the morning air.

The couple (seventeen? eighteen?),
larking by quay’s-edge, seem shucked
into a mutual agnostic eden.

A parcel of visitors calls briefly,
finds ice cream, marvels at the mallards
paddling below the bridge.

Men (and one girl) are humping creels and nets
down into little boats. There’s painting,
and a new season out in the bay.

And then, charmed by a half-mile’s distance
and distanced to a kind of unreality, the peal,
the Sunday bells. Few worshippers respond
but the quay chimes with the bellsong.

Robert Nisbet

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