Day Thirty-Two

More wrecked fuselage washed up this morning.
Biggest section yet, like a whale carcass in the breakers.
There’s a corpse still belted in a seat, the face bloated
in its oxygen mask. He has a beard. None of us recognises him.

Jane’s still not talking. Mainly she cries and hugs her knees.
When she really gives it some, her shoulders shake slightly.
She’s sunburnt raw and her lips are scabby and dry.
I’ve moved my shelter further down the beach.

Marcus spells out HELP in rocks on the white sand.
Filippo says it should be SOS. The universal sign for distress
is actually a large triangle; I know this but don’t say.
I read it once on MSN; How to survive a desert island.

Rev. Biddle is losing weight, but remains a true believer.
His sermons are beginning to chew at people’s nerves.
I don’t fancy his chances, not long term.
Since Bryony ran off into the trees, nobody’s seen her.

Marcus came over today to ask how I was getting on
with that radio set. It’s going to take some time, I said.
Salt has eaten at the circuit board. I must have looked the part,
wearing the big headphones like I was trawling interference

for a voice, a signal, anything (are you there, survivors?).
Truth is, I’ve got the Test Match on. It’s the second day
and we’re batting well, but I keep it to myself, obviously.
When rain stops play, I listen to commentators filling air

and whittle at the bails I’m carving from a piece of driftwood.
Sometimes I lie back with one hand under my head,
like a gorilla in a zoo, and think of my red-faced boss
clearing my desk and struggling to cover the hours I’ve left.

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