sunrise, sunset…

And sunrise and sunsest roll on and roll over.
The sky greys up and blacks out,
To the rise and fall of humming traffic,
The office buzz,
The thickening clump of nights,
The scrape of ice dawning on windscreens.
I clock on and clock off,
Sign in and out.

There is refuge in numbness, in days passing,
Without quite feeling what I feel.
Side stepping the thoughts that hurt,
The presents that will never be unwrapped,
The photos taken on the street where you live,
Without you.

I have been fine because I smile in the right places,
With just enough warmth to illuminate,
The conversation, if not my eyes.

We are all well trained to say the right things to the patter plod of pauses,
Whilst hearing nothing, speaking nothing.
It turns out little is required.

Of course, this could be where you lose yourself,
And lose each other.
To wake up in ten years wondering where the passion went,
How it felt to feel.

But for this now, this day by day,
Sunrise to sunset has seemed like time enough,
Space enough.
After all, really very little is required.
And then, amidst another nothing conversation,
A friend surprised me.
She cried for me.
Loudly, embarrassingly, in public,
She bawled her eyes red for the rawness of my face full of hurt,
For words she didn’t have, to know how to say.
She shocked me with my own reflection,
The person I didn’t see,
Even darkly,
Through my fogged up glass.
I tried to give comfort,
Told her things would get better,
Offered half a wry smile at the hollowness of my certainty.

Empty appropriate words,
Are always hard to swallow with a lump in your throat,
And I was moved.

Her love, my pain,
So awkward,
So out of sync, out of step,
More than a little ridiculous,
But here something shifts.

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