Patricia Wallace Jones

The Pier at the End of the World


Suns set, worlds end, and memory’s remiss;
look back—you never did, but now you do—
dark tincture gules on argent heralds this.

Wharfed ships that rode and wove wear the same rust.
Salt, rot, teredo, water’s unresolve—
relentless, and committing all to dust—

were why you came: to face your fear of fate.
Was that reflection that you saw a man-o’-war?
A childhood vision, book of days you paginate:

you reached for nothing, but would cavil over sand;
you went to sea, but never really left the land;
you reached a place from which there’s no more going down,

yet here you will not drown.