Bill Smith

Rookie (4-3-55)

You - Poem by Bill Smith

You became my all
My reason for life
All rivers led to you
the night sky lost its power to amaze
Each breath taken was for you
Focus a thing of the past
A constant picture show of you
ran through my head
seeing pieces of you in each and every face
on every street
I carried you everywhere
In my head, my heart, my eyes
Endless conversations played on my lips
words we were never going to say
You grew inside me, my expectation of you
growing, growing,
Snowdrops to falling leaves
You stood beside me
My last sigh at night
My first smile of morning
You had everything but voice
no sound to your words
imagination leaving that one stone unturned

in a tunnel of impaired vision
I searched, just hard enough
to satisfy the demons
day dreaming you in every hello
seeing you in every aisle, at every checkout
on each bus, in all the passing cars
at various bars, tables, on hill in dale
a constant procession of “you”

Though you played hide and seek with my affections
never, never did you pale
into insignificance
you were my obsession
Five wheels constantly driving you away from me
The seed of doubt always ready
ready to take root in the fertile soil
of my imagination

In brief episodes of reality you came
Only to be hung on the gallows of “not quite”
As my search for the perfect you
left me in a dessert where the oasis
repeatedly turned out to be a mirage
a shimmering illusion of what could be
my thirst for you unrelenting
remaining unquenched
my desire satisfied by the picture book in my head
seeds sown on barren fields of cotton
their morning stain a sign of my weakness
Long forgotten the feeling of love
Of being wanted and needed

On to parties where I feign indifference to you
alone in a crowd
a lone Knave in a room of Kings and Queens
with each glass my need for you lessened
as the Knave slowly transforms to the Joker
a parallel
the Joker, the discard

Later in the solitude and silence of darkness
you make your displeasure known
you come to the fore
denying me sleep
your face emerging
a pastiche of other faces
film star eyes, newsreaders smile, shop girls hair
and there you are
On a foolish mission I reach out to touch you
And you are gone

When asked
Like Peter, I deny you
Those closet bestow strangers upon me
sure that they are you
certain that you are for me and I for you
each time I find a reason to remain faithful to you
walking out the door
back into lonliness
to be admonished
“you didn’t give her a chance”
as I try to make them see she was not you
she did not outshine the sun
nor was she as startling as a clear blue sea
not velvet to the touch
the goal posts did not move
not an inch of ground was given
it had to be you and only you
Selfishly I would take a piece of her
Mould it into you
Taking you a step further to perfection
at the same time rendering you mission impossible
Down blind alleys I travelled
through days of hope and despair in equal measure
“you never know when” became the phrase that pays
but “when “never came
minutes to hours, hours to weeks
weeks to months months to years
you stole my life from under me
until the realisation dawned
that you, My Obsession
do not exist
All You will ever be
all you ever were
all you ever could be
was a Magnificent Obsession

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, May 7, 2006

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