I live in a small house by the sea
and have been trying recently
to let the attic room
from which at low tide there's a view
of black stumps, the remains
of ancient forest trees that grew
before the sea came in.
To date I've had three people
come to see the room. The first,
a man, was none too clean. He chewed
a lot of gum, and what he couldn't chew
he stuck beneath the peak of a new
Kill me, Baby, Kill me! baseball cap.
He rattled on about a lot the council ought to do:
Get rid of those unsightly stumps, for one!
They spoil the view. Like stubble
on a fellah's chin, they are!
He wasn't serious. Would never have
considered living here.
Then came a woman. Portly. Fifty-ish, I'd say.
She gushed about the view. The ancient forest.
That's romantic, that! she'd say -
And kinda weird! She'd take the room.
And last of all, a vicar came
and looked it over with great care.
I chatted on about the ancient forest -
like you do! But all the time he knew:
That's why I want the room, he said.
It took a while for me to realise
that he was blind. He spoke
as though he saw the stumps for sure.
The odd thing was: they'd all had dreams
about the ancient forest, and the dreams
had led them, each one, to my room -
and not to beat about the bush... to me.
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