The Unthinkable

A huge purple door washed up in the bay overnight,
its paintwork blistered and peeled from weeks at sea.
The town storyteller wasted no time in getting to work:
the beguiling, eldest girl of a proud, bankrupt farmer
had slammed that door in the face of a Freemason’s son,
who in turn had bulldozed both farm and family
over the cliff, except for the girl, who lived now
by the light and heat of a driftwood fire on a beach.

There was some plan to use the door as a jetty
or landing-stage, but it was all bullshit, the usual idle talk.
That’s when he left and never returned. Him I won’t name — 
not known for his big ideas or carpentry skills,
a famous non-swimmer, but last seen sailing out,
riding the current and rounding the point in a small boat
with tell-tale flashes of almost certainly purple paint.




More Poems by Simon Armitage