Mantz Yorke

He yearns to retrieve his middle age,
when he trod heathery cliffs and sailed
his home-built dinghy to the next cove
for a picnic on the sand. He was told
his bodily decline was irreversible,
but would not believe it until he fell
on the steep slope below the house,
discovering, like a beetle on its back,
he needed help to regain his feet.

He loves this house—the family home
for fifty years—high above the village,
overlooking the harbour and open sea.
The slope is too much for him now
and she can’t drive him down the hill,
yet he refuses a move to level ground
where he could trolley round the shops
or sit on a bench watching trawlers
offload their fish. ‘Stubborn sod,’ she says.