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January 01st 2009 print

Philippa Martyr

Paradox

Rain and dark roads brew a black-tea storm: Waiting—waiting—you do not arrive

Rain and dark roads brew a black-tea storm:

Waiting—waiting—you do not arrive—

My teacup-storm erupts—your phone unanswered—

Full-scale panic—flashing lights—

Tight-faced doctor—“he was in no pain”—

And always waiting; how can silence

Be so loud? How can absence be so busy?

Nurses rush, police make notes, priest rolls up stole,

And like the cyclone’s Cyclops eye I stand stock still:

An open grave flies past me, and then what?

Then you arrived; you’d stopped to buy a cake.

Relief is such a transient thing. Then anger roars:

“How dare you survive, when I have grieved for you!”