Imagine the tenderness –

him knowing, the others not,

or even if sensing this was the end

of the road, not rumbling

the plot. His sadness

at losing such imperfect love

such human love

love you could touch.

The crowded room, the puzzled looks,

the cooking smells.




Whether it happened is now irrelevant,

or how or anywhere or anytime.

Nor is it just a yearning to believe

in who we hope he was or hope he meant.

It’s not really about him at all.

It’s how his story makes us long to be

the sounder selves we’ve shaped to live the tale

which tests us daily and which leaves us wanting

its almost world, in which we do not fail.




We woke together to the morning light.

I heard these words like birdsong in my head.

But will they say what I have never said?

And would you understand? –

that what may be fiction must be felt as fact

to solve our loneliness, and take the hand

each holds out in that real, invented land.

First published in Dream Catcher 37, July 2018