Photo by Shawnna Donop from Pexels
Photo by Shawnna Donop from Pexels
My ‘Two Word’ Verses
Throughout this week, I shall publish each day one of a series of short verses which, together, by the end of the week, will have told a story.
We never have just one name. I have spent a while considering the number of different ways in which I had recently been addressed. The realisation also came, that being older appears to give more licence for those we meet to be free and easy with the various forms of address which are available to them . . .
“Well, there you are, my lovely”, the waitress warmly said.
I shrivelled in my seat . . . not feeling in the least bit lovely.
“Take your change, old fella”, as the shopkeeper mouthed goodbye.
Honest, I suppose, but unkind . . . I let it pass with a sigh.
“Don’t forget your hat, young man”,
Came the cheeky reminder from a bumptious innkeeper –
Sarcastic enough to hurt my seniority.
“Cheerio ducks, enjoy your day”,
Such jollity from the buxom barmaid,
As if it wasn’t already past my sleep-time,
“Goodbye” was all it needed.
“On your way now , darling”, the cheery matron muttered,
As if I was lingering languidly
And delaying her siesta.
Brusquely bustled aside with an
“Out o’ the way, mate, don’t hold up the British working man.”
My presence effectively disregarded.
“Hiya, Mister, got a quid for a fag?”
Mister, being generic,
My catch-all name … Bought for a pound.
“Can I help you, Sir?”
Kindly meant but formulaic,
Curt but kind
I think you’ll find.
“Come in, Honey … You’re very welcome.”
Warm reception from the receptionist,
Tomorrow threatens not to come
And so I grab at life Today
That ever was Man’s threnody
Through Doubt and Hope to make our way.
And when in truth all light has passed
And Darkness fills the Void with Fear
I realise with certainty
That then, at last, my God is near.
Those who remain to carry on
Carry the Labyrinth’s thread on high,
So human life is held in thrall
Forever set to wave Goodbye.
It woke me from my sleep,
I heard it call my name.
Not plaintive nor appealing,
The gentle murmur came.
Not desperate nor demanding,
Nor urgent nor imploring,
A voice I recognised
From the deep grave was calling.
As she had once addressed me,
Just quizzical, requesting
A warm word in response
Our lifetime’s love suggesting
Half awake I called out “Yes?”
Expecting a reply
But no such came and then I knew
It had to be “Goodbye”.
Four times I’ve heard in recent days
my name called out on waking
It can’t be real. It can’t be true,
It must be memory faking.
A voice that I had known
From the grave’s depth calling
A voice now lost to me
Lost memory forestalling.
A wake-up call to start my day
My new life here without you
I miss you so. But now I know
You wish me life anew.
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