a flutter of wings

bridge between two islands

a place of meeting
and of tryst

touching
and desiring
and doing without 

things are not the same
now

I garden

read

never looking up

even at
a flutter of wings

order of service

often there is only me here

now
and one place mat
where there used to be several

but birds still sing in the
high hedgerow

at dusk
when service is over

forty years on

windy day on the ridge
imagining myself on Hampstead Heath
forty years ago
when friendship meant more
than the contact list I have now

winter sits thinly on the bough
some deer bolt the clearing at the sight of me
I turn for home
and a solitary tea
thankful for friends I never see

meaningful gaps

spaces appeared on the shelves
as the time of departure drew near
reminding me of when you first arrived
to draw back the curtains
and flood the place with light

so too
intervals in conversation
as symptoms grew worse
speech harder

now through a chink in the curtains
only a thin strip remains
of the day

I pull them together and withdraw
to the meaninglessness
of sleep