Threshold - Poem by Tommy Stroller
- a poem to a secret love
I found my lover sitting staring against a blank wall.
Well, not quite a blank wall, the bricks
Were worn and old, the mortar crumbling, and there were flags
Flying somewhere not far on the other side,
From enemy or ally – who could tell? - the markings
Were washed out, barely visible memorials to a faded past,
To old loyalties slowly coming to rest,
Battles still-born before they could be fought,
Nothing left but secret wars.
So I showed her another side to the wall
I took her to a window and told her - “Look!
This is a real window, there is a black stone window ledge,
Vases flowers and pebbles from some Spanish beach
And it opens and you can see more than the sky.
Look – there at the end of the grass, where the garden
Stutters to an end in the tangled weeds and brambles,
Look carefully to where the forest reaches our boundary
Under the cover of the first trees amongst fallen leaves.
Can you see there is a couple fucking: they cannot hear a word or foot-fall
From this side of our civilized world
So sucked into one another are they.
And now through the red door who is coming?
And who painted it red as a blood donor's heart,
And why are there white lilies
On the table next to the mirror, in which the splash
Of a summer's skirt with green stains
Can be just seen reflected from the woody undergrowth?
And are those discarded panties pink? Or maybe
It's just a bunch of anemones.
Is it me coming in or maybe it's you – I'm not sure,
I can't tell who it is as we grow so alike in the dusk.
And your size is my size and I could be wearing...........
No – it must be you, it's your
Dark jacket, your blond crop of hair and defintely your
Boobs, and that shuffle which
Knows not whether to come in or to
Leave: Come in! Your'e always welcome here.
Yes, you've seen the living room many times before so let's go up the
Stairs – No! - Don't hang back,
I just want to show another part of
Myself, another aspect of my complicated mind,
Not drop my trousers – bodies we can leave out to dry until
Tuesday. After all it's not haunted – I've banished all my ghosts
For you, cleaned them out along with all the ghost-written love letters.........
See the doorpost here on the landing is both crayoned by the passing
Children, and scratched by the cat,
Or maybe even a dog trapped once in their room.
And look – this attic room on the left has a real window too
It's so real you can just make out the smell of your soap on the handle
Is it lemon or vanilla this time? And if you open it you have
Views over the same forest:
It's a pity the couple have finished now but here in the corner
Is our little feuton bed quietly waiting, and from here
You can see the stars and dream you are still in the
Forest. Yes, I know, it's empty now, not even a dirty sheet,
But one day you could fill it with armfuls of your love
If you wished,
If you could,
If you could only stay here
Just one night,
Then maybe this would all become
Real and the house I've planted in this poem
Could take root and form a world outside our hearts.
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