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Six years, a social class or two, a religion and half a country between us

We found each other in a city large for me and small for him

I bought this tall, exquisite stranger a beer, only because I’d had a few myself

And found some courage there.


Was the moon full that night as he walked me home, and we sat close on the sofa?

My legs tucked under me, facing him, I asked, “What is your favorite cinema?”

With inches separating us, he didn’t have far to lean in to kiss me for the first time,

I thought no courage was needed, but I was probably wrong.


A few days later he was running across a busy street with his coat flying

I sucked in my breath and murmured a silent prayer for him to call.

It was Spring and before long, after a leisurely morning of love making,

I was intoxicated with love and blissful tenderness for him.


A lifetime later, as he tried on a long coat in a land foreign to him and home to me,

There he was again, that young man crossing Comm Ave who stopped my breath.

That same day, a lifetime later, he remembered girlish me with a smile

In the sunshine after a morning of love making, when I said I felt drunk.


Six years, a social class or two, a religion and half a country between us,

A rich city boy and a poor country girl, neither of us were any good at being alone.

Love of books, languages, and demons of weakness and anxiety united us

And the graceful way we moved was more graceful moving together.


But not passion, grace, a love of old books and foreign tongues,

Not my wide smile and dark eyes, his chiseled jaw and wavy hair,

Not our youthful bodies, not our shared weaknesses and anxieties

Not walking hand in hand on a path covered in magnolia blossoms,

Not making love in the library among rare books

Was enough to lead us to ourselves.


Looking for ourselves outside of ourselves, diving deep into nostalgia and old stories,

You can’t give yourself to someone when you don’t know who you are

And the pieces of us began to slip through our fingers like sand on the North Shore.


Loving and hurting each other like flipping a coin of solace and pain,

We tried to end our togetherness but couldn’t, until one day we could.

His presence followed me around, like a beautiful, sad shadow, everywhere I went

So I left everything behind and attached myself to someone I didn’t love


Thinking this is my life, with six years, a social class or two, a religion and an ocean

Between me and the person I loved 

We were puzzle pieces, fragmented, unable to be whole, but we wrote

To each other from opposite sides of the ocean,

Happy birthdays, babies born, new jobs, attempts to explain the past,

Letters on air mail paper,


And zoom, where we both had white hair.


At a train station in a land that is foreign to him and home to me,

Six years a blink, social class unimportant, he has his religion,

I have my spirituality. I see him in the crowd, and he’s looking for me.

There are two meters between us

now one

I’m in his arms.


I embrace this dear man who keeps looking for himself outside himself, running until it hurts,

His uncertainties, anxieties and broken self run run with him

While mine have scattered into mountain air, drowned in alpine streams,

deafened with mantras.


Determined to be true to himself and another, still not sure who he is

I know what he is to me, and regretless

I gaze up at the full moon and let myself imagine what it would be like

To freeze time and be reunited longer, with nothing

No age difference

No social class

No religion

No expectation

No doubt

No coats

No guilt

Not an inch between us.

love and time passinglove poemsSelf-awarenessmeaningful relationshipsdifferencesreunited

◄ The Quiet Castle


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Russell Jacklin

Thu 13th Oct 2022 11:55

Love it, great story telling, I was engrossed and keen to know whether there was a happy ending, 😮

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Graham Sherwood

Thu 13th Oct 2022 09:51

A great read, lots of involved content, love and angst! Well done!

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