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Tunnel Beach

Robin List

John Cargill
flaunting his wealth
preserved his daughters'
Victorian modesty;

Drove a tunnel
with slippery steps;
penetrating the rock
to their bathing cove.

So much digging for
wetness and decency;
did Cargill ever get
his own joke?

Pride and decency
found the air sharp
the cliffs stark naked
the sea unimpressed.

There was a judgement;
a last day of walking up
and on to the eternal city
of antiquity and icecream.

Rome`s a world away, decently
clad in cut stone and occupancy;
comfortably far from clawing
ocean , raw cliffs, harsh gulls.

At the foot of the Spanish Steps,
beached in Miss Babington's shop,
they sell icecream to tourists
who gather like Dominican gulls.


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