English Bay

Again we found our­selves at the shore­line,
among shards of shell and plas­tic,
scrim of sea­weed trap­ping my feet like a net.
Red freighters and the grey Onley mist of the islands.
The seashell gleam of sun on water, her­ring­bone sky.
I was think­ing of a movie where a man was drown­ing
in the mid­dle of the ocean, huge swells soar­ing
all around him like dunes in a desert, and how I’d once said,
That’s what it feels like, grief—
years ago, before any­one had even died.
Who knew how wide the ocean would get,
how high those waves would climb.
Then I went into the water, into that marine world
of kelp and plank­ton. The green that bathed my legs
had trav­elled for miles to reach this bay.
A noose of cloud hung on the gold hori­zon.
Spores, sand in the gritty air. No one I loved was there.

Evelyn Lau

On our last walk along the seawall,

you stopped mid-sentence

to watch a heron pass us in flight.

Isn’t she beautiful, you whispered –

the stone span of her wings, textured like granite –

and I looked, and looked again,

and saw, like those hours in your lamplit office,

the gold light falling all around us.

—  An Excerpt From The Wake by Evelyn Lau