the streets all wind down to the sea

It suits me down to the ground, the idea
of living on that rock, where the grey Atlantic
meets the Med, and the streets all wind down
to the sea; where they keep a decent Guinness
and the pubs are open all day. Who would I be?

I'd be an ex-pat, a career criminal
doing time in the sun before admitting
there's nowhere left to run; I'd be a waster
selling timeshare; but mostly I would be

a twitcher, living for the spring and autumn,
when all the birds in Europe are on the move,
and we could be the stillness in the heart of
all things, me and the rock, watching the swallows
bound for where the sex-lines terminate.

[Paul Farley, 'Gilbraltar', from The Ice Age]

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