The Widow

David Havird

Two footpaths led to the beach.
Right past the dovecote your path met the other,
which lay beside a low stone wall.
In no time you were there where the two paths merged,
your head, straw-hatted, dropping already from view.

What now? No sooner had you followed the path
on down to the bay than here you were returning.
Only a quick swim, late as it was—and you meant it!
With cypresses shielding the shoreline from view,
I greedily pictured you getting out of the water,

Venus adjusting herself. But no …
For there you were, bareheaded—your sunhat where?
(bare its usual bedpost too)—bright-shirted,
stepping out from behind the dovecote,
a now whitewashed, blue-shuttered bungalow,

and greeting your straw-hatted other, nodding
before your sun-flecked tangles dropped from view
and the woman in black, to whom appeared to cling
the shade of funereal cypresses,
skirting the low stone wall drew near.

About the Author

David Havird is the author of Map Home (2013), a book of poetry. His poems have appeared in many periodicals, including Agni, The Hopkins Review, Sewanee Review, Yale Review, as well as Lowestoft Chronicle. He teaches at Centenary College of Louisiana. Since 2009 he has taught a May course in Greece. For more about the author: