Most powerful, I’ve heard, the spell left undone;
Just one gesture more and a new world
Spins in our place. The wizard drops his hand
And we go on, unknowing, unthankful.
But I do not think that this is so.
On the Holyhead train in 1933 two men sit,
They do not speak (they’ve not been introduced)
The elder is white-haired, word-haunted, lean;
His fingers are too long; he half-shuts his eyes
And asks himself if the moment’s come.
When the train makes its halt, near island’s edge,
The youth is ten seconds older than his years
And remembers two things he never saw
A curlew calls in the sun by the water’s edge;
A rook flies against the dark at day’s end.