For Her (Dowson Day Poem)

At times like this, my mind aches back

The burst-banked evenings of that year;

Where long and brittle shadows

Divided silence, split the skies –

I watch, crossed here, the days flow past

And marvelled at the pace


Of how we met, quite by chance

And negotiated trickery.

The old language of those hearts

Somehow survived the journey –

Fibre-optically, tossed down lines,

And shot from screen to screen


As was the habit of the time,

We spurted lines from fingertips

And pulled ourselves in poses.

As in vain I stammered from afar

And found myself, in real lives

Self-aware on strange train lines.


That time, as distant as your old home,

Bright eyes, red lips, a bed, that drink –

Things changed, somehow.

We glanced downcast and tried to think

Of how to talk to those we knew

And deliver us from news.


Yet somehow here, in retrospect

It barely changed, the day’s the same.

Back then, my daughter’s eyes were inconceivable.

Back then, someone else lived in our home.

You stop the boat and turn to me

“All too soon we may well tread

The bitter pastures of the dead –

Let’s do it all,

Let’s do it all again.”

About Benjamin Norris

Published writer of short stories, long stories, poems. Well received art critic and cultural commentator for Berlin magazines. Collaborator with operatic societies. Co-writer of fictional historic psycholinguistic journals. Lecturer of architecture and art history at a Budapest University. View all posts by Benjamin Norris

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