VERSES FROM MY ROOM
When you come looking for me I'll be gone.
Time is laid waste where waiting has been done.
Though you might find forever and to spare
And bring it to me, I will not be there.
I heard you call me once, so calm and clear,
As children call each other by their names.
Adults avoid such touching, telling games
And only say what everyone may hear.
Listening is lonely only in the dark;
People and business and the day obscure
Persistent shadows, if they cannot cure
Creases where thought and word have left their mark.
Flatten your nose against the window-pane.
Knock at the door, then open it with care.
You'll find a book left open on a chair,
Thrown on the bed my coat still wet with rain,
Some shoes piled in the corner, and a pen,
Dropped from a pocket, lying on the floor.
Maybe a photo in an open drawer
Will catch you eye, and make you smile, and then
Perhaps you'll speak, although it is absurd
To ask a question of such emptiness,
You'll make your invitation and address
A place as pointless as a voiceless word.
When you come looking I'll be far away.
Will you be puzzled? What, I wonder, say
In your bewilderment? Will you know why
I went and didn't wait to say goodbye?
- Susana Tomalin