He looked to me both serene and troubled – the Davide.
Maybe the feeling of being adored and admired was,
in the rock-captured moment,
turning to some perplexity, touchy even – maybe
because he was, in the end,
not the wonder, and not the worker of the marvel,
but just Davide,
and of the marble, and no more;
after standing hour after hour,
through the scratching and
the blank echoing of the hammering,
maybe he felt as chiselled,
as overawed, as used, maybe.
In time, perhaps, he felt too much the giver,
and not the giving.
I looked down at my own little one. She
looked anguished too;
she spoke fitfully, her mind still
on yesterday's waves near Pisa,
on the tingle they gave.
She felt a long way from the sea, I guessed,
a long way from her bucket
and her spade.
We looked at the back of it -
of him - and saw the tooling still in the stone.
We saw the chisel drive
and the hammer shock still there.
'This is rock like skin or skin
‘And what can you do with that?’ she said,
‘Take one thing and make it like another -
the craft of the impossible,’ I said.
We walked on – our minds on the seaside splash and cackle,
on the way the water talked to you,
worked its quiet way around you,
like cream encircling a strawberry,
like the passage of time
on the fruit of a vine.