What I would give


I would place before your feet

The entirely of my years of moments’ pleasures,

For one second of a smile.


While you dreamt, I would lay before you bottles

Emptied through mirth; all my loose change

From weekend after weekend poorly spent;


A collection of oddments, photographs

From seaside places; the north of France;

The postcard of my first true kiss, years past;


A world of textbooks I one time read,

And all the serials I spent long nights

Hungrily reading through, to find somebody;


My first pair of skinnies, and my first and last

Cigarette packets; the soft and pleasant earth

Where as I child when walking I once fell;


My teddy bear, a replacement for you

Before I knew you; toys broken; my Game Boy Colour,

Though I lost it, I would find and place beside you;


Locks of my hair, when cut into new styles,

I’d place in envelopes and leave beside your bed.

Sweet wrappers, precious stones, new shoes


Turned old from tread and love; whole afternoons,

The weighted sun: the lingering, happy sun,

I’d cup in my hands and present to you, a mere token;


A recording of my graduation day; my diary,

Kept in secret nights, for want of you

Even before I knew you; scented candles


Left to slumber beside the bath where I

Lost whole days, dreaming; the very footprints

Of walks by the lake two miles from where I lived;


I would gather these precious and all once-precious things

And leave them at your bedside while you slept,

If I could catch you, sleeping, with a smile.



Some tokens of affection are more precious than others. Some hallmarks of memory – a photograph with friends, a postcard, a love letter – may seem to resonate more in the human heart. But I think the unimportant ones, when offered, can represent something just as genuine and sincere. 

A train ticket, a stub from a screening at the cinema, the wristband from a festival; the label from a beautiful new coat, the penny change from the purchase of a good, loyal, remarkable book; a novelty key ring, a present which you laughed at for all of a second before placing to one side, and one day entirely lost; the empty bottle from the first time you changed your hair colour (the next day, everyone was either appalled or delighted, and of course the bottle was never mentioned or seen again). 

I would bring back to you the footprints of all my wanderings through woods as a child; my memories of days out, picnics, holidays; even recollections of sleepless nights hopelessly counting stars; I would retrace my movements through all of my years, find each unassuming token of love or life or thought, and lay them at your feet… I would surrender each drop of joy I have ever known, in a heartbeat, if it would give you one second of sweet and simple happiness. 

Because I can’t always make a grand gesture. I can’t always afford bouquet of roses. But my thoughts, every one of them, from every distant or forgotten part of my life: each of these is yours. 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s