Geoff Cochrane


A marquee stocked with gleaming cheerios.
Children and a friendly, broad-backed dog
(table to the kids’ unmannerly elbows).

The tall man with the little paunch is ill,
but we’re here on this blustery coast
to celebrate his fifty-fifth birthday.

The wind-minced sea has darkened.
It’s time for the cake with the single candle,
but the northerly has strengthened
and the candle can’t be lit;
taking the cake from his daughter’s hands,
Nigel pretends to blow
the unlit candle out.

His wobbly gait is not yet a totter.

He’s touched and grateful, but also very tired.

The wind-minced sea has darkened to purple.

Author’s Note


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