John

A memory of rain,
of our taxi travelling through
deserted streets at dawn,
the headlights searching out
the road ahead of us
as we made our way home.
Life seemed long.
That was how it felt to be young.

Time passed. We moved in
together, shared four walls,
watched as some friends grew tired,
the daily rituals of marriage
too much to carry. We said
it would never be us,
that we would brace ourselves
against such heavy weather.
That we were in this together.

But things changed. We moved
apart, found different rhythms
to our lives, conspired to keep
some corner of ourselves hidden,
each cut from a common source,
the curse of weariness
falling down between us.

The season’s turned to rain.
The boats huddle in the harbour,
hull by hull, the staccato
of their rigging in the wind
a keening in the evening air.
I pull tight my coat and walk
the pier, try to hold back my fear,
you somewhere else without me.
We made promises to each other
that we could not keep, denied it
too long for the children’s sake.


from ‘Summer Rain’

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