We never do learn to accept that we

Cannot have all we desire. But,

In time, we grow forgetful; forget that need,

No longer press our noses to the glass

And walk to nearby windows to inspect

Instead the wares in other shops.


This does not mean that we have outgrown want.


Just as, growing old together does not mean

Growing together. After the worst of winters

I’d hoped the hearth would keep; and it did,

But by June, as the children danced towards the river

To play, and I wrung out the laundry, and at last

We sat in peace, overhead the thought passed:

You inspire in me nothing but afternoons.


Clouds overheard us. As we sat, they overtook us:

Death is no different from weather, in that respect.


Inspired by faded photographs of an anonymous farming couple, in their forties. The man seemed stern, his wife likewise but with some other quality in her eyes. They seemed companionable, if not necessarily happy together. The writing at the back of the photograph simply read “1934.”


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