Posted in Lies

Sojourn

Memory alone has an address.
Letters and a photograph
refugees
still waiting in a carton camp
at Mum and Dad’s, a friend’s, a garage somewhere
relics
of when love auditioned
and nearly did.

The rhythms of farewell
tangible, all these years later
youth hostel Puritanism
rigid separation of sexes
to prevent sex
capacity rooms moat boldness
crowding, a trustworthy chaperone.

A slow march through the city in creeping winter
before dawn Check-in to instant summer.
Dinner
no starter or sweet
we told the waitress
time was urgent
a lie to hide poverty.

Paper cups in a suburban park
wine from a brown paper bag
darkness.
Tears
only hers
unmanly is confused with manhood.

Quiet post-midnight hours cramped on a couch
before returning to separate rooms.
In the unjudging dark both are brave
laughter elbows aside tenderness.

Bruised sky of morning regret
lonely walk back to what was
imagination replays intense whispers of reunion.
I never saw her again.

For the story behind a story click Backstage

Author:

Most of my life has been spent on the bench, occasionally called into the game by extravagance or attenuation. Waiting has turned a loner into a recorder - nondescript and inconsequential, more not noticed than overlooked - the non-vantage point of children not yet considered old enough to understand. Orphaned Islands (Un)poetry is a lifetime of picking anecdotes up and not throwing them away. Stories collected like odds and ends placed in a box in the basement, the garage, the garden shed - uncertain as to what their use might be but knowing that one day there might be one.

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