The look you shot me, milk-blue squid of Kimmeridge,
was one of recognition.
To you, I must have seemed an ogre, the kind that mothers
warn their children of. Something in you stiffened—

and the whole wild treble-clef of you leapt five foot
clear of the water,
then vanished through the bladder-wrack. Love you as I did,
I would have been the death of you.

And so, half-honoured and half-humbled,
I went back along the beach to the obsessive clink
of fossil-hunters' hammers, and the burdened buggies,

over the bridge and up the narrow, foot-worn path
where the eyes of people coming down declined
to meet the eyes of those returning to their cars.