David Lewis Paget
Aftermath - Poem by David Lewis Paget
We overplayed and underplayed our parts
And paid the price; we went our separate ways
For me to think of you, and you of me
Some part of all our long and restless days.
For what advantage? We may never know,
We cloud each other's vision at the hearth,
I loved you well, but love was not enough
We neither paused to give the other breath.
Like people trapped behind the moving screen
We both replay our scenes, we freeze each frame
Of shrugs, of nuance, words of lost intent
We blurted out in anger all the same.
But anger rests, and now there's only loss
As keen for me as you, I must confess
If I could still regain the way I came -
But mist and chill obscure our waywardness.
We charmed and chafed each other in our turn,
We stormed and raged, and whispered words of love,
And tried to use the magic we had known
To lighten hearts that long had ceased to move.
But at the end you left me in your pain
And I was too resigned to turn your head,
I'd fought and loved, and fought and loved in vain
'Til love was some black season I had bled.
What now for us, the doors are shut and barred,
The shutters strain at every passing gust,
And winter freezes over at the heart
To chill the brief young season of our lust.
We may yet meet at some pre-destined time
When life has buried both beneath its dross,
And I may look at you, and you at me
Without this deep and dreadful sense of loss.
23 August 1987
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