The silence that has fallen

here's forever:

carpetless your busy room

embedded still

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

are unfamiliar

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

becoming doors

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

it's final.      


I talk to myself.

Tomorrow must be

Blackcurrant Picking Day


To HR      6 July 2002. December 2002 (Revised)