Stormy Weather | Matching

Stormy Weather
           28 December 1999

It’ll all blow over … but in the meantime
Kerry Murphy’s body has washed up on the beach
at Apollo Bay, that home of shipwrecks.

Tall, proud, handsome and strong,
Kerry a dozen years ago
was protective of my somewhat timorous daughter.

Lost by parents too anonymous to reproach,
she took to the streets: sleeping rough, drugs, on the game
as things fell out; locked up for madness—
paranoia took her out of reach …

She came back: she seemed no longer on the rocks,
she seemed fine. But anything can go wrong
as almost all of us know
most of the time.

           But—death by water?
that comes out of the blue.

Poor Kerry, rest in peace, another victim
                       of no indictable crime.


An exile in New York, instinctively proud
of a culture higher than that of China Town,
delicate, small, fine-drawn, retiring,
she is never one of a crowd.

A poor North Country boy with a good degree
from Manchester, his crucial vocational move
was down:
he has given up his whole career to curing
intractable diseases of the South.
He’s living in Nairobi in a hovel.

There’s no affinity that anyone might see
between these two, only unlimited friction
between their different kinds of worth.
What binds them, though, is an undying love.

Given that truth is always stranger than fiction,
it’s up to you, dear reader, to write the novel.





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