Collecting Seaweed from Strangford Lough
It was on our doorstep and free.
Would raise fertility and yield.
Collecting it could have
been a blip on the chart,
enriched an otherwise arid
Ulster Sunday morning.
I imagine laughter as we slipped
and slithered towards the prize;
surprise and wonder at the sight
of so much exuberant life; a hand-
on-hip breather to take in the grandeur
of the skies and give the day its due.
But imagine is all. For I was doubtless
all business. Wanting it done, in the bag.
Concerned about the car. The morning
like some wash-day shirt, I ironed out the fun
after rinsing out the colours, not noticing
as they drained away into the ebbing tide.
Once the rain had washed off the salt,
I dug it in at an inch-perfect depth
while you sat indoors alone. Again.
Months later I took a spade to a bed.
There was the gain, what remained
of that morning with you: a thin, dark line.