End of season, end of play - no one left
But a boy playing with the lonely sea
On the rain-wet shore below that runs
Helplessly on and on into advancing dusk.
Pushed under the cliff, houses look to themselves,
Look blindly away from the darkening game
In which the boy runs purposefully
Seawards and shorewards at the tide's edge
Like someone bearing a message no one
Wishes to receive - something written long ago
In his head, now overgrown with hair.
He never will stop running, for his limbs
Are oiled, his skill increases mysteriously
And the sea has become hopelessly attached.
When he runs shorewards feigning fear,
Like a father being chased by his own child,
The sea rushes after him, monstrously grey;
But when he turns, it whitens and retreats.
And while this goes on, here in the house -
As if by special arrangement -
Someone very quietly plays Reynaldo Hahn.
The boy does not know this; he is only human.
Soon the game must end unaccompanied.
But no, he is turning and running again
To hidden music, as if for the first time.