I see you perched on a ladder
at the end of our garden
plucking Victorian plums
and the pleasure you take
in sorting them into bowls
of polished purple.
It’s hard to believe we were once
hard-core cocktail swingers
stumbling home on night buses
to strum hungover songs
about our broken hearts.

Now there is fishing
before the storm breaks,
compost heaps, country walks.
Are we older? Are we wiser?
You still have glorious stories
about Sri Lankan drag queens
and first class train journeys
through whisky soaked
Marlene Dietrich celebrations.
I’m still scribbling in the face
of cancerous grief
and family disappointment.

So maybe all that’s changed
is that somewhere along the way,
despite the night terrors,
the flashbacks, the self reproach,
we found our kindred spirits,
our fellow travellers, who are able
to forgive us all our foolishness
and love us back.


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