David Lewis Paget

(22.11.1944 / Nottingham, England/live in Australia)

A Life of Nothing Much


He came on home to an empty house
In the early morning chill,
The one he’d left when his blood was up
And he’d bent her to his will.
Harsh words had passed at the very last
When he stormed on out the door,
But now the silence seemed so vast
That his heart dropped to the floor.

There wasn’t a light in the passageway,
There wasn’t a light on the stair,
He crept on up to the bedroom
Only to find she wasn’t there.
Her clothes were gone from the cabinet,
Her shoes were not by the bed,
He sat hard down on the mattress
Next to the note she’d left, that said:

‘I knew that it had to come to this,
And you must have known it too,
This marriage has never brought us bliss
As marriages ought to do,
I tried to be a devoted wife
To support your dreams, and such,
But all it brought was despair and strife
And a life of nothing much.’

A tear rolled suddenly down his cheek
And he brushed it quickly away,
He didn’t want to be seen as weak
When he ventured out in the day,
Her words had cut to the very quick
For he knew she’d spoken the truth,
A wave of misery made him sick
As he softly cried, ‘Oh, Ruth! ’

This wasn’t the way he’d planned his life,
This wasn’t the way at all,
He’d met her under the coloured lights
In the barn of a country ball,
The moment he’d looked into those eyes,
And smelt the scent of her hair,
He’d whirled her into another life,
One that she said she’d share.

But none of his dreams had come to pass,
His heart and his mind were spent,
He cursed himself in the looking glass
And struggled to pay the rent.
His heart grew bitter as time went on
And he took it out on her,
And she had wept as her husband slept,
It seemed to be so unfair.

He went downstairs to the bureau,
Raised the lid, and picked up a pen,
He wanted to write some final words
To the love that he had, back when:
‘Just know that I’ve always loved you, Ruth,
Though I’m bitter, and out of touch,
I know that I failed, and that’s the truth
In a life of nothing much.’

10 April 2014

Submitted: Wednesday, April 09, 2014
Edited: Friday, April 11, 2014

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