Where they have been, if they have been away,
or what they've done at home, if they have not -
you make them write about the holiday.
One writes My Dad did. What? Your Dad did what?
When I leave you postcode and your commuting station,
When I left undone all the things we planned to do
You may feel you have been left by association
But there is leaving and leaving you.
Although you have given me a stomach upset,
Weak knees, a lurching heart, a fuzzy brain,
A high-pitched laugh, a monumental phone bill,
A feeling of unworthiness, sharp pain
He has slept with accountants and brokers,
With a cowgirl (well, someone from Healds).
He has slept with non-smokers and smokers
In commercial and cultural fields.
He’ll be pleased if I phone to ask him how he is.
It will make me look considerate and he likes considerate people.
He’ll be reassured to see that I haven’t lost interest,
Like summer in some countries and like rain
in mine, for nuns like God, for drunks like beer,
like food for chefs, for invalids like pain,
You've occupied a large part of the year.
I settle for less than snow,
try to go gracefully like seasons go
which will regain their ground -
From the River Cam and the A14
To the Aire and the tall Ml,
We left the place where home had been,
Still wondering what we'd done,