David Lewis Paget
I Must Have Been Sleeping - Poem by David Lewis Paget
'Where are you going, ' I heard her say
As the dream took me straight to the core,
We parked at the side of a very long road
And I got out the driver's door;
'I've never known that, ' I replied, and she sat
On her hands, with the pain of surprise,
'So what you've been saying has never been true! '
The tears rose up in her eyes!
'The road has been long, the road has been wide,
I never knew where I could turn.'
'I thought you were happy with me, ' she said;
There was nothing to say in return.
'I must have been sleeping for seventeen years, '
My voice sounded foreign and coarse,
But I couldn't handle the sighs and the lies,
Or the terrible sound of - 'divorce! '
I walked to the wood at the side of the road,
And followed the pathway around,
I couldn't look back now I'd made up my mind
Though I walked unfamiliar ground,
The clearing was quiet, the birds didn't sing,
A mountain rose up in my view,
I suddenly saw there was no going back
To the comfortable life that I knew.
I cast off my shackles and took a deep breath,
To breathe in both freedom and pride,
My strength was returning, and clearer my eye,
I walked with a bounce in my stride,
The years fell away, I was thirty again,
I stopped then, and sat on a stone,
For darkness was gathering there in the gloom
With that terrible feeling - alone!
I thought of the woman I'd left on the road,
Who'd always been faithful to me,
The tears that she'd shed for a love that was dead
Made me sad, and ashamed to be free,
I thought of the comfort she'd given me when
All my world started going insane,
She'd cooked and she'd cared, and she'd loved and she'd shared
And I'd given her nothing but pain.
I turned on the track, and I made my way back
But I couldn't see where I had been,
I stumbled through thickets and walked into trees
And I fell on my knees on the green.
'I am lost, I am lost, ' I cried into the night
Then I heard her voice, dim, by a tree
And woke to her stroking my face and my brow
As I cried… She was waiting for me!
9 March 2008
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