In Alones, Crete
I borrowed a brush from a nearby grave.
The briars grew high around yours –
and the burrs stuck stuck to my dress.
When I swept away the dust and water
flakes of whitewash dislodged.
I enjoyed the movement of the brush
and that I was doing, after all, something practical
that you would have liked,
pushing the long water across your grave.
In the corners the clean pools shone –
a feeling of ease and custom, as I had walked
round and round the grave with smoking
incense I have seen daughters do in Crete –
lighting the oil lamp in a glass case
that has a cigarette packet, a photograph,
busying themselves, laying down fresh basil.