It’s a long time since I started probing
those dark inner spaces
like ‘what is life and has it meaning?’
Well, not much has changed.
But now it’s how these thoughts
might cross over, be put to use
in the life we have built together..
like those times when I raise my voice
as you spoil for another altercation
or put my shoes in the wrong place.
And even now, when your father comes
and you give him our best room
the one I have begun to use,
it’s not a kindness, as it is to him,
but more a slight on this one,
to whom your life was pledged.
But what if this poem were about you?
Would you have put things in
I may have tactfully omitted:
like the twists and turns in your life
with a man who, I now admit
is racked by inhibition,
and, as you would say,
makes procrastination his default position?
Well, not really. You would cling
to this veneer of propriety,
this web you seem to have spun
giving the lie to all that lurks
within those painful inner spaces.
And so would soldier on.
My game would be much the same.
I would pass over that messy catalogue
of awkward moments
but would offer up instead, that painting
you did for me some time before,
the one with the neighbour’s cheeky cat
resting on the back of our Afghan hound,
we still display, on the wall, by the door.
But, giving place to what I know inside,
I would add the redeeming thought
that, in your quieter moments,
you still return
to those benign inner spaces
that lie just beyond the reach
of all my imperfections;
hoping to rekindle the love we knew
from the start,
to hold on to what is really there
putting aside all that we think we are
but are not;
this, the more convincing reason why
we shall still soldier on, and never part.