Not jellyfish he said,
more crabby than he’d meant
because he turned again
and added

And what a fleet.
Sunday plate blue
with sails stuck up like Tom’s legs
when he and John took the last hill from Barnstaple with no gears –
long before the ashes blew back
and the beach cricket years.

He turns again
from shoeing something reluctant into a bucket
for a pale shrimp of a relative.
And all left-handers, see.
Heading port side of the wind
whether they like it or not – poor beggars.

Well we can’t help it either, I thought.
Putting a dog whelk in my pocket,
and remembering the walk
when I still thought
that north
was always