Islands

1Islands are a different country. Something more
2Than straits and channels and the sweep of sea
3Divides their beaches from the blunted shore.
4Some island thing, in moss and grass and tree,
5Nursed by the wind and rooted in gray rock,
6Stubborn as time and sharp as winter thorn––
7And something in the look and step and talk
8And touch of men and women, island born.
9An absent look. a listening in the eyes.
10As if they heard, in blood and flesh and bone,
11Between the breakers’ rise and fall and rise
12Some word let fall between the sea and stone.
13            But never ask me what. How should I know?
14            I was born inland. Half a mile or so.
RPO poem Editors: 
Jim Johnstone
RPO Edition: 
2015
Special Copyright: 

Poem used with permission of the Charles Bruce Estate.