Who is that man who can’t remember
how to work the computer, who cried
when he lost his wife? Who forgets
to send the work he has promised
and struggles to speak on the phone.
Not the poet I knew but endless words
which jabber and twist, excitable phrases
collapsed into awkward conversation.
Endless digression brings me back
to the hospital where my father died,
the big house where great aunts and uncles
lived. There used to be an airfield, a mansion
on the corner; you could turn right across
the main road or cycle up the hill to work
with its racing car stored in the warehouse.
The past will not stay away, it returns
in old films, in the notes to the books
you read. It is online, in photo albums
abandoned in my study; it turns up
in letters or phone calls, or you see it
out of the corner of your eye. How long
since we lived there? The past I mean.
It always moves away, leaving us behind.
Things are so unclear when you look aside.
© Rupert M Loydell
Illustration: Atlanta Wiggs