Gone is its lustre, gone is its sheen
An ancient cobwebbed vase made clean
Stripped of its mystery, of its guile, and
All the while I reach out to catch the hem
Of a disappearing dawn, stretching out
My fingers, flexing for a feeling that lingers
No longer, it’s like waking from a fever
When it leaves you, calmed and still.

Down by the river I now walk, and I spare
No thought for you, perhaps I might see you
In a glimmer of the shivering water as it
Giggles below my marching feet
And all the while my blood beats
Magnanimously around my body, what cure
Is this? The fresh air I’d rather kiss
Than your needy lips.

For gone is your lustre, gone is your sheen,
Gone is the life you made in me
I picture you now below in the stream
A skull secreted with the river weeds
It’s gone, gone, the summer passion is spent
And I lay you to rest in the river bed
It’s peaceful there with the reeds
The only witnesses to your silent deeds
You’re lost to me, gone from me now,
And I feel nothing, no, because your
Lustre and sheen have quite departed
Vanished, all those things in me you made
The rages and the savage lusts, obliterated
Turned to dust, the river carries away with it,
All the memories of what was, and it’ll wear
You down further, erode you, crunched up
With the rocks and pebbles, you’ll brush
With oblivion and know what it is to be
Forgotten, because I waited so very long
To forget you, and to leave you there
Trapped in the river where you belong.


Rose Staveley-Wadham