Sunday, 19 October 2014

Back When

Back When

you said,
on an island
like we always fantasised
back when we were young
back when life was less complicated,
back when...

i was jealous
like you'd achieved something
ticked the ultimate life goal
finished the bucket list
(did you ever write a novel?)
and swam in the reservoir of life
while all I ever did
was muck about in the foetid pool
of other people's desires
wondering where my life went
and wanting my youth back.

the boat was small,
piloted by a fisherman with broken nets
who treated me like a mad woman
though happy to accept money
from hands lined with experience.
your island a speck on the horizon
growing larger with each minute
passed in mute silence
until I could recognise the ruin of a church
and a black flag flapping in the breeze
by a dilapidated jetty.

he wouldn't dock
or land on the shore
of a quarantined island
your friend's dead, he said, or soon will be
abandoned to typhoid
think yourself lucky.

and I remembered back when
your smile, your laugh
and your promise of forever
as I slipped from the boat
and swam to shore.


Rose said...

Fabulous! It's good to read one of your poems again Rachel :)

Rachel Green said...

You're very kind, Rose :)