A white ship anchors in the harbour.
Seagulls perch with tucked-in wings
on coils of rope; cafes leak their scent
to the darkening hour. Rain expected,
the town is folding down to darkness.
As the storm rolls through the streets,
leaves fall to the gutter's mouth.
I hesitate to peer at these Byzantine discards –
bronze, red-veined – someday,
I too will be pure leaf, leaving only residue.
I consider my restive escapes
to this or that refuge, turn shorewards again,
in search of winter in sinuous drifts,
my head bent to snowy pages,
the quick spark of a colder sun.
Mary O'Donnell's work is the subject of the just published Giving Shape to the Moment: The Art of Mary O'Donnell, Poet, Novelist, Short Story Writer (Peter Lang)