I know what it is to linger too long
Over a dying light
The love between us is going out
Its flame sagging in the useless breeze.

It’s a dark night, tonight,
No clouds relieve the black bleak
Sky, the air is still and stifling
And all the while I try to summon you.

But you do not break through
The silver birches, rising skeletal
Bony figures that carry my
Incantations like smoke, up and away.

It’s cold, and I stay perishing
Waiting for some vision
Of you to come pouring through
The woods, or better, you might even
Appear, console me, and take me in
Your arms, what it would be, to feel
Warm again, to know your skin
The tender hymn of your breath
Lying gently on my hair.

But my eyes open
And no such dream do I wake to
The wood is dreary and grim
The shades of night dusty
And my pictures of you
Grow lousy, my heart is cold
Day breaks, and I move, slowly, on.


Rose Staveley-Wadham