when i sing she doesn't care;
when i whistle she looks at me expectantly
Now the oil-fired heating boiler comes to life
Abruptly, drowsily, like the timed collapse
Of a sawn-down tree, another time and lapse
That must have taken place around midsummer
Come swimming up, and the place, it dawns on me,
Could have been Grove Hill before the trees were cut,
Where I often stood with them on airy Sundays
Shin-deep in hilltop bluebells, looking out
At Magherafelt's four spires in the distance.
Too late, alas, now for the apt quotation
About a love that's proved by steady gazing
Not at each other but in the same direction.
Quercus, the oak. And Quaerite, seek ye.
Among green leaves and acorns in mosaic
(Our college crest surmounted by columbtt,
Dove of the church, of Derrys sainted grove)
The footworn motto stayed indelible:
seek ye first the Kingdom. . . Fair and square
I stood on in the Junior House hallway
There is a grey eye which will look back
seeing them as a couple, I now see,
For the first time, all the more together
For having had to turn and walk away, as close
In the leaving (or closer) as in the getting.
It's winter at the seaside where they've gone
For the wedding meal. And I am at the table,
A skirl of gulls. A smell of cooking fish.
Plump dormant silver. Stranded silence. Tears.
Their bibbed waitress unlids a clinking dish
And leaves them to it, under chandeliers.
And to all the anniversaries of this
They aren't ever going …
Veriest of Merriest to you!!!
Beautifully sad... Wishing you everything that is beautiful but not sad for the Festive season and the New Year liz in Paris
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