The silence that has fallen
carpetless your busy room
the presences of absent furniture
empty bookshelves, departed garden tools
flowering pots, patches of empty wall
where pictures hung -
so strange is time -
this ancient photograph hidden behind a list
of phone numbers - what message that ?
So long ago - the way you looked at me
and I so vigorous - was that my prime?
The place is gently haunted now -
alone before the ten-o'clock news
two cats gaze beyond the horizon
distant donkeys bray.
I do believe it's much more difficult
staying behind -
the ghosts in your place
they will not trouble you.
Here they come through doors
or creak along corridors
or run a bath.
The place vibrates in its past
the gaps in decoration
to sudden pictures
drown the heart.
At least you watched the ten o'clock
news with me
where even timbers
now refuse to creak:
funny how these memories
are of happy things
remorsefully recalled -
You will not be coming back
I talk to myself.
Tomorrow must be
Blackcurrant Picking Day
To HR 6 July 2002. December 2002 (Revised)