Until the Last’s Returning

Posted by ractrose on 12 Apr 2022 in Art, Poems

Pencil drawing of man waiting for boat on quay




The Folly

Battle Stations







Until the Last’s Returning


He waits along the quay, mood agity, wandered well away

From sheltered benches where a better class

Than Dougal counts himself…city sorts, on holiday

Able to have loose ends and weekends to their lives

Booked today not forever, but for the harbour tour

Bide their shaded skin below the awning until the last’s returning


Evil is on his mind, an utter oddity

And yet he is willing to allow philosophy

Of every stripe and taste, few things more expanding to the mind

Than being jilted by a ghost

And it’s true, isn’t it?

Fiona…? He would like to ask

Wennie seems well, an ordinary lad

‘Your father, son, and your mother…’

Dougal crouching, blinking, too late stricken by the thought

He has never given such a speech

‘Oh, Dad. He’s dead, I know. But Mother…’

The child pats the mustard seed pendant

The only thing Fiona has so far managed, the bestowing of it

‘Well, aye, you must think of her that way, as being with you always’


Fiona, do we think of it, somewhere, in agonies

This minute I step round, and make back towards you

A footfall’s lapse, and someone perishes

This minute I check my watch

And tell myself, she’s fine, she’s safe

The boy is fine, he’s safe

Conflagrations and quakes are at this minute taking place

Ligurian waters lap, they wink and nod

The killer Falco hasn’t cause to hunt abroad

Only our friends at home

Are stalked




Until the Last’s Returning

Oil painting of harbor sceneThe Epistles
















(2019, Stephanie Foster)