On a corridor of fresh-painted magnolia
sunbeams stroke from velux windows
onto freckled carpets, while a television
talks too loudly to itself in someone’s room.
I find you sleeping, head sagged
as on a mis-hung coat hanger, hair,
just brushed, still full of war-time curls,
a legacy that did not pass itself to me.
I say your name, see the reluctant
wakening of your eyes, the disappointment
you had not slept your way to heaven.
You have told me this before.
Today we talk of blue dresses and funerals
and how you love my coat, and how
you love my coat, the colour redolent
of something already scudding out of view.
You ask me now if this is what you do,
just sit and wait, and wait and sit,
the resignation in your voice
the hardest thing for me to bear.
For in this room, that thief of time
has measured out its false remembrance in
the ticking of a clock, as the past becomes the present
and the present loiters somewhere in the past.