The Leaving Gift

Recommended Sanderwich: Any sad, limp specimen from a supermarket that’s soggy and cold, truly the sandwich of goodbyes. The kind you’d eat alone after seeing someone off on a a train or a plane. I’m posting this because I wrote it last year and today is World Poetry Day. And everybody loves poetry, right?  If you haven’t guessed yet, it’s about saying goodbye.


Words do my bidding:-

I knot them into nets that trap you,

And trip you on a joke like a leg stuck out at the

Last second. I pluck a twinge of

Grief or a spasm of pity. I make you my ally

With the ones I leave out.


I sell words for a fixed amount.

Their limited worth has been decided;

They are locked safes of meaning

Or chips to be laid carefully on a

Craps table, as I wait for returns.

I don’t know when to walk away.


But this time I will not push you against a wall.

I will not count out the invaluable.

I will not manifest that which on becoming

Will degrade.

I will leave this dense soup unportioned,

Bubbling, ready to burst out into galaxies.


Instead I will give you silence full and round,

Weighty and wholesome like a cottage loaf.

I will give you an airy room of silence in which

To sit alone and think – a luxury. I will give you the

Silence of a rolling road, spray clouds of dust, and just

Road until the sky.


I will give you the silence of an unspoilt pool

Ready to buoy the body that will

Break its peace. Ready to hold that body,

Warmed by rays that have

Sliced through its depth

With the perseverance of a day.


When you think of me

Forget my thin strings of words:-

Pause, and

Let silence fill you with everything

That my little words

Fail to say.

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