Old Quarters

Robert James Berry


Over the breakwater tipped by a lighted buoy
The tide scrambles. The washed stones sing.

This is a still place, growing slow as a vine

An absent-minded moon
Rising like a fat pearl
Among the family of stars. 

Outside the old fort
That’s become impregnable
As the old wars it fought,

Besieged only by tourists

The town’s pride leans from his plinth
Pointing a lead finger out to sea.

Tonight the light is opal, 
Canals that cut to the old capital 

Where the immigrant wildfowl wade carefully.

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