Our Poem

for jan

I woke at 2.30am and left you sighing gently as you slept,
checked the trap but found only droppings on the floor
I set the trap again and hoped the rats would leave –
I would prefer not to kill anything.
The dog mawed and moaned at its fleas
rubbing against the rail on the back verandah,
it settled when I whished it back inside to sit
(my mouth made that wist noise, the one you know the dog will hear but won’t wake the sleeping).

I lay on the red couch in the study and read Ray Carver.
A return to Carver simplifying me. If not by sleep I was
comforted by his weave of innocence and knowledge.
Ray started writing poetry in the year I was born (1957),
I don’t know why I mention this, perhaps I feel him like a kindred
spirit and am warmed by even the slightest connection.

Between the living and the dead are the sleeping. However being at rest
is no excuse for ignorance. Ray is at rest – some 18 years.
His poems like me are alive and breathing.

The magpies begin their morning carol as I return to bed before dawn.
Your breath and skin have waited for me.
When we wake, I tell you,
I am grateful our poem continues.