Before the storm
by Anne Armstrong
Botticelli’s been at it again at Lanark Loch.
Instead of a blonde on a shell he’s posed a cormorant
spreading its wings to dry on a half-sunk boat.
It studies the wrinkled water’s delicate skin
whose every crepey crease the artist has rendered
in curls of cold daylight. Green dinosaur eyes
track power-plodding pensioners round the rim.
Gulls float, dozing with one eye, half dreaming
one of those stick figures slogging into the wind
will scatter bread like white flowers on the water.
Boreas breathes out. Waves for tiny surfers
run the length of the loch, slap into concrete.
Pensioners shuffle faster before rain comes.