An excerpt from

Boxing the Compass
by Richard Greene

Remember when you breathed so easily,
lit a pipe behind cupped hands when the wind blew?
Trees you planted bending every way from true,
grey water hove up as breakers out to sea,
baffl ing gales turned round in their weatherly
boxing of the compass, all thirty-two
points of tumult bearing on Baccalieu
or Bell Island? And things I could not see—
‘Whales,’ you said, ‘Out there, dozens of whales.’
An hour later, we watched through streaming glass
but I could not tell a pothead from a wave.
Forty years on, I lie through a night of gales
in your emptied house and see them pass,
blow, plunge in waters deeper than a grave.