In The Country

I’m sorry, but I belong to me. Again.
Out walking in the country our umbrellas collide
Driving us apart, shocked, apologetic.
He and I, shoes damp from rain, are alone on the
Path, fields blurring at the edges.
He and I, preoccupied, distant like peace,
Keeping up then and now laconic dialogue,
Humour, manners, tension, knowing,
Knowing it is fading
So we guard more and more our matters, thoughts
The house with its vast gardens
Its muslin-framed attic windows and basement cellar
Folding and pressing dust in storm-shadowed sheets —
The house we’ve lived our unlived lives.
Our feet brush against leaves, earth, and plod and persist
But where they must go is past not future:
A day many years ago, he behind the wheel
On the road to a new city, I beside him reading
Summer fiction, hand on his lap,
Chocolate-coloured cattle lit by our passing car.
Reflected on the glass our bodies close
Under the stars traverse water and land
Loved, loving, transitory.

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