Any of These
When you step through the Arrivals door
they are all waiting, they question your face
and you could provide the answer;
comfort the one who is crying,
kiss the glad-eyed wife, the old mother,
go with the taxi driver holding up a name.
Flight has given you this.
After all of those hours as a seat number
you could enter any of these lives,
be who they wait for,
but kinder, astonish them.
Be any other than who they said you were,
meaning your parents, teachers, reports,
the voices in your head, your bed and
mostly in the dark.
I feel I don’t really know you,
was what she said.
If that is a fault, you make it a rule.
If it is a rule, you measure yourself,
count the plum stones, tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor…
go off, but only to your own war,
and come back through these doors.
Your name, the baggage of your life?
Well, someone will carry them.
Listening at the Mouth of the Flower
This for the wedding, christening, grave;
all the colours of experience,
all the voices of memory,
almost seashell whispers
from the daffodil’s throat,
sounding the single, soft, spring note,
releasing last year’s sunshine
as a promise.
And the old voice of the lavender,
the lips of the rose, tell you
of grandma’s garden,
the time of tall stalks,
when blooms were chin level,
the day’s deep reservoir of heat
that your skin drank in,
the voices from the house;
When you are called in,
life is before you,
spread like a summer tea.