Rain was the only redeemer
incompetence. No excuse. Forget it.
Swimming in the frigid open air school pool,
unless you had a note from your mother.
Don’t even think about, thinking about it –
mine never wrote such petitions.
I thought that cruel,
I think it preparatory and loving –
conditioning for the chills and mandatory of life.
I always went there to find calm.
comparison – loss, their’s so much greater.
even the necessary lawnmower straitened and subdued,
delicately respectful of the headstones.
Bookends, brackets, margins –
what lies between?
It was the craziest six months of my life
danger, drugs, vice, stupidity; all and more.
Retrospection shakes its head
age wonders how youth emerged alive.
Calm: trees, filtered sunshine, flowers, offerings. Quiet.
Comparison: grief and loss – far greater.
Correlation : her entire life was six months. The same six months.
It was always busy, especially on Friday and Saturday nights
a kind of, camaraderie of browsing
and certainty –
in and out literally for some,
others taking time.
The staff were knowledgeable and friendly
a mixture of enthusiasts, anoraks, part-timers
and David – resident expert, who really did know everything –
everything about film –
making good recommendations and astute cautions
– yes, you’ll like that… no it’s not for you.
He just seemed to know what someone would and wouldn’t like.
Be adaptable and smart say the marketing gurus.
They were – for 25 years
shifting from VHS to DVD to Blu-ray
with clever pricing and first-rate catalogue
until cable and Netflix.
It’s gone now, a café and bakery eviscerated
then painted over memory. Nothing remains,
where did they go?
What happened to David and his rare talent?