If I were to write down a list
of everything I miss I’d miss
the most important thing,
an irregular pearl. Not gifts –
books on corvids, Wild Lone,
‘Ballad of Gordon, Alpha Cock,
who clawed to death a fox
and Bedlington terrier’ – or this
What’s missing from this floor?
The furniture, but also the reason
The Captain’s keen to explore, go deeper,
Take core samples, measure astronomical tilt.
He says the clues are down there and the truth;
Our forebears, numerously well-preserved,
Point to the paradox of their success: death
Learnt from them and wore a cunning face.