Loose Ends

She was already there
When I arrived, a little flustered
As usual, a little rushed, damn metro
But there she was
A gentle woman
Not stunning
No, nicer than that
Hi, I said
Hello, she smiled
We're only going to be together
For today, I said
Because Alan's
Not well, I'm sorry
About that
Never mind, she said
I'm sure I'll manage
So I thought, I said,
That today we could do a kind of
You know, revision lesson
Going over all those things
You're not sure about
Tie up some of those
Loose ends, I laughed
Starting to relax a little
She nodded, and
Revision, she wrote

So she told me about
All her loose ends
And the desk seemed to grow brighter
And flicker before my eyes
As she played with her pen
And told me
That she was married once
But that he had hit her
When she had wanted to stroke him

And her glasses slipped a little
But she didn't push them up
As she looked at me
With soft soft eyes
And told me that
She loved
And knew her level
Was bad

And there were less than
Two inches
Between our fingers
The width of a coffee cup
When the distant thrum
Of the air-conditioning
Seemed to stop
As she let that
Single tear
Onto the blank sheet
In front of her
And told me it was for

Her baby boy
Her joy

Had never



When our time was up
We hesitated
Not quite sure
Where the lesson should end
And real-life start up again
Well, that was our first
And last time together
I tried to lightly smile
That's a shame she said
It was nice talking to you
Yes, I meant to say
But the intonation was all wrong
And I had to look away

I sometimes wonder if she ever
Kept that sheet of white
Or sometimes runs
Her gentle fingers
Over that small mark
Which told me more about her
Than a well-formed sentence
Ever might

And does she maybe close her eyes
And sense in some strange way
A teacher from another life
Who goes to work each day
But when he gets back
To his thoughts
So far away it seems
He may just go
To sleep and hope
To meet her in his dreams




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