Simmering Past


Most of the time it sleeps,
the measured snoring of an old dog
content in a warm bed
of lessons we have learned.

So when we meet today we
tiptoe and whisper.
I tell you how poetry
leaped out of the blue,
led to writing a book.
You tell me how you built a sunken garden
at the back of the house,
surprised by your own success.
We swap photos of grandchildren

Then there is a pause – a long one.

We decorate the silence with laughter
at words on the menu like
‘chai latte’ and ‘flat white’
and how it seems these days
you need a steam engine to
make a cup of coffee.

Memories begin to surface;
they grapple in search of sunlight
and there is movement,
something stirring, restless.
I hear a deep, laboured sigh
then a troubled groan;
I think you hear it too.
The whole building shivers.


Wendy L. Macdonald

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