Thursday, 3 January 2013


Hesitating, yet, from deep inside
That same damn, sticking drawer
He always said he’d mend
(Too late now, he’s up and died),
She pulled out creased, faded photograph
And let out mute involuntary laugh.

The Tuileries Gardens, it must have been
A snapshot begged from a passer-by,
The two of them: he youthful, she but a child.
She recalls the day; paintings from Giverny.
He boyish, slender, carefree in denim shirt,
She pallid, shy-looking, focussed, alert.

Their hotel, scruffy, by marzipan Sacre Coeur,
(Amid pavements black, rooftops powder grey),
Was one of those with carpets on the wall
And backpacks stuffed behind a counter.
Marriage tender, cadenced sighs;
Happiness embellished: all such implies.

The years between, the struggle and hurt:
Children, parents, holidays, houses, work.
Did any, or all of this, really mean
That much to him: this shy importunate?
Or was he just, like fallow deer at eventide,
Coincidental traveller, along for the ride?