Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Time’s Joke

The skin on the back of your hand, dear,
Lies fleshless and loose from the veins.
Like a frog staring hard on the sand, dear,
It rests, contemplating it’s pains
On the cloth of Swiss lace
In a state of pure grace
Adorned by that dull, tarnished band.

Your fingers are trembling lightly,
An aura of ice haloes round.
Your nails have been pared back contritely,
Now grey as the shale in the ground.
The hand I first took
Never shivered nor shook
But grasped with a clench of delight.

You don’t catch my heart-searing gaze, love,
Your eyes are like buttons of steel.
This pointless addition of days, love,
Won’t touch very much that you feel.
But I still catch a trace
In your soft, worn-out face
Of the girl smiling out of the haze.

Do you remember Felicity Connors
And the time that you swam round the bay?
How you both put the fright’ners upon us
Near the end of that bright, cloudless day?
And your hands looked so old
With their ridges of cold
And I rubbed till the wrinkles were gone.

I’ve no towel that can warm up your hand now
Lying speckled and white by your cup.
This chapter’s unheard and unplanned now -
Each day we are making it up.
Just two elderly folk
Who can’t laugh at time’s joke,
Coming close to the edge of the strand.

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