Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



A Weekend Break

It was what they wanted, to get away,
but was it some sort of end? Friday night,
and they worry it might sneak up on them
as they drive out of town, but are too unsure
and frightened to speak of it. Saturday morning

they wake early. Then sleep in.
Her piffle-wiffle snores, his big bass.
A fly like a ping-pong ball bats
across them and the embroidered bedcover.
Breezes come from laced seas and red earth.

Saturday night, they find an out-of-the-way
restaurant and over a tasteless dinner
slide knives into each other. After the drama
they frown at the tablecloth, or out at the night.
Two candle-lit faces glare back from the window's glass.

Sunday, they run in the silver light
to the beach. Half awake in an afterlife,
or in the half life that comes after waking.
Tracks in the ribbed sand fill with seawater,
the powder blue sky arcs like an oyster shell.

They run together and wheel apart,
having more in common with the washed sand,
the gulls on the waves than with each other. They picnic.
They stare at the relentless sea, its rolling linen,
salt-scented towels tugged up to their peeking eyes.

Monday finds them back in the city, telling
workmates what a wonderful weekend it had been.
And, in between the desk work and meetings,
they're talking on the phone, planning their summer
holiday, somewhere hot, with plenty to do.


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