Sunday, 1 February 2015

The amazing Story of a clockwork Mouse

I once knew a devoted couple, one of whom died of cancer. A few years later, my friend found someone new and they have been very happy together.  At a party, someone bitchily remarked, ‘How soon some people forget...’ 

My friend’s new love overheard, shrugged and said, ‘You never stop loving someone, but ghosts can’t even kiss. How boring is that?’

Beneath an awkward tittering, I sensed a general consensus that my friend had made a good choice.

One love can never be the same as another, and it is not fair on anyone involved to make comparisons.

As for me, my partner and I only had a few years together and I never really fell in love again after he died, but I live for the love we had and have enjoyed my fair share of (real) kisses since. All the better, kinder, lasting life forces within me I take from that time we shared, even as I take my cue from nature's continuing predilection for renewal.


I walked to the House of the Dead,
lifted the latch and went in,
found a clockwork mouse on a table,
turned the key, laughed as it ran
in broken circles, just as my lover
and I had with each other

I lingered in the House of the Dead,
clockwork mouse for company,
let it run loose down Memory Lane,
breaking the circle trapping me
in the cancerous, cobwebbing gloom
of a near empty room

I wandered the House of the Dead,
pausing in a bedroom one day,
made love with a ghost, implored it
to stay, but it left, fading away 
like a sunbeam, leaving only space
for a clockwork mouse

I departed the House of the Dead,
let the clockwork mouse go free
till it stopped short at Memory Lane
and I saw no cause to turn the key
but passed it by to continue on alone
into a slow, tearful dawn

Recalling the House of the Dead,
I see now where I went wrong,
forgetting the drive of life forces
running ever true and strong,
like shadows chasing sunbeams
all summer long

I return to the House of the Dead
now and then in restless dreams,
dance with a ghost on tricks of light
where nothing is as it seems;
of the clockwork mouse, not a trace,
only love in another place

Copyright R. N. Taber 2015

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