Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Forget the commercialism. You don’t have to buy champagne and roses.
But we all need to be reminded at least once a year to make time and space for love and romance. To remember what you saw in each other in the first place. To count your blessings.
This poem - called The Wife's Tale - is a timely reminder
You crept between the cracks in a marriage and made yourself at home.
I was tired, worn down
by years of homework and school holidays.
I had heard his stories many times, no longer listened.
But you said, ‘You have done so many fascinating things.
I can imagine that you are very good at storytelling,
especially at bedtime.’
I saw a man with a thickening waistline, high blood pressure and athlete’s foot.
You saw a dreamer, a poet, a lover,
You saw the man he always thought he would be.
I dashed his dreams with reason’s cold water,
I cut him down to size.
But you said, ‘I have no doubt that you can do anything you want.
You are so clever and I am so proud of you.’
I sat in restaurants in silence because words were traps for the unwary.
But you said, ‘I'm never too busy to spend time talking to you.
You are such an interesting man.’
I turned away in bed, picked up a book, switched off a light.
But you wrote, ‘I cannot wait to see you it is such, such torture.
We need to make love, long passionate love,
with no clocks in the room, please, and no mobile phones.’
I black-binned his clothes, changed the locks, cried with friends.
You said, ‘I thought that no-one had to be aware of my presence for a while.
‘I don’t want to be the scarlet woman.
‘You have to sort things out without me in the equation.’
He did his sums in the guest house bedroom and came home.
You said, ‘Ever felt that somehow you lose all the things you care about?’
Almost, I thought, as he unpacked his bags.