The sea lays big glass hands on the sand,
spreading its fingers out as if new
to the shore. It can’t quite believe in it.
It wants to hold on before the glass breaks.
And it does break, giggling with froth,
lets go and slips back as it always knew
it would and the waves clap their hands
erupting broad cream flakes
of pleasure into the air which is moving
and will move for ever, through
any fingers. And the sea doesn’t mind.
It is the glass not the heart that breaks.
from In the Land of the Giants (Salt, 2012), © George Szirtes 2012, used by permission of the author