Penelope (January 1995) – Part I


All those things that once

you looked at



took so much for granted

you no longer saw them,

unaware of their existence,



hammer, knives, tools


shoes, carpets

vertebras and muscles

chairs, tables


pots and pans and dishes

the ensemble of your mind and body

reflected in your outer shell

of appurtenances,

used unthinkingly

till, through no doing of your own,

or perhaps it was,

abuse, misuse




your body – real –

and the outer shell as well

began to falter

and in an attempt to save the one,

the other put in storage

hoping for a better day

when there would once more

be a welcome home

for them

for you.

But that moment never came.

The years passed

and now, common sense

says close this chapter

that looks only to the past.


How many chapters

are there still in wait?

Your Scotch blood will not let you down,

rallies round,

fights to the last.

This swirl marks not the end

but a pause


before a new beginning.

As you have often done

when you closed each chapter

of your words of make believe

set down on paper.

But is not your whole life

perhaps a world of make believe?

London, Glasgow, Paris.

And then Italy.

A dream that ended up a nightmare.

The pen has been poised

to write this final word

five years and more

but you are loath to let it all

And so you ask me to save

a silver frame

slip forever through your hands.

a pair of shoes

a purse –

tangible reminders

of something only you can know.

To be continued . . .

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