Second-day moon


I am not waiting, no

The red thrush fathoms not our measures

Of days and stars, neither does

The boulder turn from falling

Off the precipice

I am no longer on the mountain

Nor in the plains below

 

 

After tea


What a bitter day is ending

And hardly to be borne

The hours paved with nettles

Though I knew not what for

 

For you no longer want me, friend

This I now plainly see

Departing in your glass caravan

That you once had of me

 

How hard and strange it would seem

Had we that golden bowl of trust

Piled with fruits of the first water

Budded and grown between us

 

But I confess that this we never had

And with sunset, I begin to see

That I had tired of your intemperance

Before you tired of me

Granville Island Winter Ale


The bar is all cement floors, its patio wood-paneled. But they are inside at the moment, and this place with its faux-American name is playing swing music, or music that you can swing to, she does not know the difference.

He is French, slim like her, and the crown of his head but an inch or two above her own, always in chinos and hand-stitched shoes. She has never properly danced with someone before. But old books had her convinced that this must be fun; when he asks her she leaps at the chance, and she is not disappointed.

She finds that she can follow him and he has no compunctions about how close they should be.

At the table, earlier, newly-minted friends testing each other’s waters over chocolate-coloured pints, someone had asked her if she was in love with her absent boyfriend. Several faces turned to look at her and they were intimate, serious; they had dredged up school scandals and dead parents, now it was her turn to share. She certainly loved her boyfriend, but with the intensity behind that question, the turn of the voice on in and the sense of being measured for all time, how could she know for sure at 22 years of age? How could she match the nakedness of that question? Why were they asking her such a thing?

She was nonplussed, embarrassed, tipsy. She didn’t have any prepared lies. Her skin prickled under all the stares and she answered with what first came to mind.

It is only as she is trying her first steps of swing dancing with her classmate, movement becoming delight becoming laughter, that she realizes honesty can amount to disloyalty.

And it is much, much later before she realizes that her boyfriend, who proves indifferent to her love of dancing, is the sort who does not like his girlfriend to dance with anyone else, even if he has no intention of dancing with her.

On Early Shores


Image result for wallpaper rocky seashore

Were you not that primrose light

That followed me every morn

And lit my path among the rocks

That spanned from shore to shore

I might have forgotten, darling

Your lithe and lilting form

What curves of cheek and ankle

Threads of perfume through a storm

But even now you are before me

And the promise within your eye

Carries me from ship to harbor

While the rocks lie far behind