It shames me to say
no good thought of you
has passed through my mind
since the first day
when parted ways.
Your long hair flowing
like the mouth of a river, down the bedside
and mine like the red torrent of the sea
where they should have mixed together there was instead
me not knowing, you not loving
more of me.
Tiny fingers outstretched
in search of your skin
to feel the blanket in which we swaddle the world
to take the sting
from the bite of its being
You asked if I was pleased
to see you, when we did
long afterwards, meet
but pleased is a happy word
sullied by the whispering slur
and I left my happiness
long ago at your teat
swept with your uncaring hand
to grow amongst
the kerb-line weeds.
So, no, I am not pleased
nor happy or aggrieved
but, the endless growings of
the motherless grey
and the numbness soaking
through the void between.
Standing here now
two adults again greet
I see that you too have taken the bottle
from it still
you drink most deep
always only, just a babe
with ruby-red flushed cheeks.
With old fingers now, shaking, outreached
to two rivers battling at the mouth of the sea
where they should have mixed forever
but still in the chop, bereaved
it is you who requires most the weaning
from the milk of the bottle
much more than me.
From within the din of vagueness,
I will give it to you straight.
The change has long been underway
and we have all arrived too late.
The time to double down your chips
along with our hope
our sense, our calm.
We did not inherit the earth
but instead shape it only with our pains
to hold it in our hands as clay
and disgrace it
for our gains.
Our cloying platitudes
cover a sea of discontent
drowning the balance of nature
that which Time will long lament.
You may have your pound of flesh
you may have it, blood and bone and all
and in the moonlight naked
all of us: accountable.
I do not do this for me,
my feelings, my thoughts, my fears,
are irrelevant in the scheme of things.
I do not do this for sycophantic gratification,
nor do I do it for mutual admiration.
I do not do this for wealthy gains,
nor do I do it to ease my pains.
I do not do this for me,
no, that is not why I’m here, down on one knee.
I do this
only for you,
and to see that beautiful smile rise like the sun across your face.
“Be compassionate to yourself. That means being gentle to yourself at times when you feel like being self-critical. Think what you’d say to encourage a friend in a similar situation. We often give far better advice to others than we do to ourselves.”