SEPTEMBER IN GREAT YARMOUTH
A woodwind whistles down the shore
Piping the stragglers home; the gulls
Snafﬂe and bolt their ﬁnal mouthfuls.
Only the youngsters call for more.
Chimneys breathe and beaches empty,
Everyone queues for the inland cold —
Middle-aged parents growing old
And teenage kids becoming twenty.
Now the ﬁrst few spots of rain
Spatter the sports page in the gutter.
Council workmen stab the litter.
You have sown and reaped; now sow again.
The band packs in, the banners drop,
The ice-cream stiffens in its cone.
The boatman lifts his megaphone:
‘Come in, ﬁfteen, your time is up.’
by Derek Mahon
from New Collected Poems (2011)