Now bumper to bumper with
mainland buses, this flimsy thread
will thin and snap when winter
shakes the village church,
and the bells respond unpulled
to dope-head banshees of the gale
like legless oboes and bassoons
in their dark grey campanile.
Behind the square, the Visitors’ Centre,
now no longer barrier-free, mutates back
into the Gothic mess it was. Beneath
the mulch and perfidious moss, the ground
waters rise to nudge the abbot’s grave.
In storms, not even ferries are any good.
Don’t talk to us of groceries; we live
from tins for days on end.
They call us the storm babies,
born without the midwife; not even the
vet can get across. Our fathers,
dragged to the frontiers of decorum,
know what to do from watching the
calves and lambs.