Monday, 3 December 2012

The Lovers OR Quality Time

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._N._Taber

Today’s poem is a favourite of mine and appeared in several poetry magazines/anthologies before I included it in my first major collection; it was written in 1991 after a conversation over a garden hedge with an elderly man whose wife had died the previous year. He talked about the spirituality of love and togetherness in such a way that I was full of admiration and close to tears.

THE LOVERS or QUALITY TIME

Scarce we talked of love,
scarce we talked at all

I would scan the paper
while you got the tea
or prune my roses
while you watched me
out of the corner of one eye
at your herbaceous border
busy with a trowel

Scarce we talked of love,
scarce we talked at all 

I would fix whatever
while you made us a cuppa,
and when I’d finished
we would sip comfortably
in our favourite places
glancing up now and then to
read each other’s faces

Scarce we talked of love,
scarce we talked at all 

Now I prattle away
in a misty rain,
bring you roses where you lie
in a patch of cemetery,
birds for company,
wondering why, oh why?
Again and again

Scarce we talked of love
scarce we talked at all

Copyright R. N. Taber 2001

[Note: this poem was first published as 'The Lovers' in Love and Human Remains by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2001; rev. ed. in e-format in preparation.]

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