Lincoln Station, October 2014

Before they parted, she could not look at him.

Her hair was a comfortless shawl, a veil

To keep her sight to herself, to keep him from her;

Which kept in all the warmth of the grave.

I do not know just what he must have said to her:

They stood a little way off, in the rain,

Across tracks, a thousand miles from me.

She looked on, past him, opened lips

As if to say something, in perfect silence

So that he alone would hear it perfectly.

And he understood. He brought a hand

As if to confess in a gesture,

Gently to that veil, to her face –

And now, I knew that this was forever –

For she could not help but see him, now.

All the art of a millennium could not

Place in artifice the sacrifice, the prone

And lonely company they kept for that brief departure.

They lingered there, on the very edge of disaster,

As they made that crucial error: they made a promise,

Without words, and crossed kisses like

The first to fall would lose the duel.

He withdrew first: drew his bag over his shoulder,

Looked about for something, some explanation

Written on the service screen, some reason;

And I realized that, once he had taken that next step,

Once he had made for the final departure,

As she looked on still, well: that was it.

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3 thoughts on “Lincoln Station, October 2014

  1. Dear James What an essential poem, particularly as we have mostly had that experience and the emotional memory of it returns quite sharply. Very ‘road not taken’ etc. Thankyou! Gran

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Dear James Sort of PS Gerald hasjust read your latestoem and enjoyed it. He liked the way you can observe people. I also like the clarity of the observation and language to describe it. It reads cleanly, without obsrtuctions, yet giving the space for thinking about the language,the images and the situation. It would make a very good tutorial subject, too. Love from us both, Gran

    Just read a hilarious early novel by Patrick Gale, Tree Surgery For Beginners.

    Sent from my iPad

    • Why hello there. Thanks for the feedback, I am glad that you liked it: I tried to write about something less esoteric than usual, and about a relationship which wasn’t simply just me spouting on about how in love I am for a blasted change. Glad Granddad enjoyed it too!

      I am currently reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. A very funny and inspiring read, absolutely magical.

      Love in superabundance, now and forever. xxx

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