Cut-off words leave you to fill in the blanks.
The mind craves symmetry, pattern. Perhaps…
After a brief interlude of Holmes-like deduction
you resolve the conundrum,
a physical, 3D shipshape crossword,
with streamline clues.
The colours are grey and winter blue -
even the random gathering of cars
conform to this steely colour scheme.
The navy band of the bowline reminds you
of an Airfix ship you snapped together
a lifetime ago in a place of autumn and apples
in another universe. The only exception
is the orange capsule - the life raft
with a looping umbilical cord of greased cable
and the flags on the radar.
All is compact
and comes with a vague feeling
like a change in atmosphere
that accompanies the sudden joy of opening curtains
to discover the world transformed by snow.
Other pieces of the puzzle,
the bits beyond the borders,
fit into place now.
The terrible sense of panic
because the journey took longer than expected,
the frantic phone call
and the time and ships wait for no man reply.
Wooden shacks on the cliffside
and diesel trucks on a white concourse
reduced to the size of toys.