Ben Gunn


Cold Light... - Poem by Ben Gunn

As he sat, idly playing with the spoon in his coffee
with one hand
whilst
repeatedly touching the letter in his other - as if by magic the next
touch
would be finger against thumb -
the evidence undone
from reality
to kingdom come.

Not written in copperplate nor any florid script
those words so quickly
(aggressively?)
written to keep
not as a rose-tinted souveniers
but as mitigation fading towards obscurity,
milestones as tombstones.

There, ultimately unadorned (for are we not naked
In the presence of Our Lord?) He will speak these words
As others will read, with no repentance nor stigmata
to bleed, but just the catastrophic awakening -
Of knowing there was potential for more,
Responsibility too often swayed by selfishness.
The unimaginative immaturity ensuring the excuses
were everpresent - and temporarily credible -
Till soon he found even that- the poorest of sustenance-
inedible.

But now just the last dregs of bitter ground bean,
a clatter of coins - thirty maybe - it matters not.

Outside.

Calm now, the note momentarily forgotten -

after all - he had a train to catch, and a meeting to fulfil.

Down the steps at Notting Hill Gate tube station
- the smell of urine, and beggars seemingly in migration
Railcard shown (not his own, but one he inherited from
the last) escalators broken, recently the norm
meant echoing steps down to the nearest platform.

'Next service due in 3 minutes' the board proclaimed
a ghost of a smile at the corners of his mouth played
but died as soon as it could be recognised.

Two minutes later the air pushed by the oncoming
carriages entered the station, adrenaline strangely absent
now, headlights gleam as the train arrives, early

must hurry now - do this ONE thing right -

In the air now, waiting for impact...

...Shaking driver, later undergoing
the standard procedural interview for a 'one under'
(I've just killed a man...What more to be said?)
'Before he jumped - he looked straight at me
-there was nothing I could do -
and he mouthed the words...

'...Thank you.''


BG 07.11.07 15.00


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Poem Submitted: Friday, February 1, 2008



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