We played in that old ruin,
Mark, Sylvie, Dev and I,
Threading childhood dreams
Through something broken:
Truncated walls, a single arch,
Lost purpose, masquerading as romance.
I led because I talked the best.
The others took direction,
Indifferent or desiring,
Through laughter cracked by cruelty
Wrapped in nature’s greening stance.
We grew up and unfurled.
Mark dreamt, Dev dared,
I wound up in my words,
Flirting with truth and Sylvie
More fragile than her beauty.
Nothing was settled, we only
Played for time, revolving
In that other ruined structure
Called the world.
Our hopes were vague,
All focused on survival,
Far too hung up to grieve
The missed stop of arrival.
Fast forward on to now -
Mark lost, Dev dead
streets and Afghan sand, London
Sylvie, adrift in drunken dactyls,
Twice deserted (only once by me).
I still have my stories, my dissolving dream.
Thread end, dead end, back
To that eternal present
Beneath the mouldering arch,
For failure not my own,
Where grey and green rewind:
I am still living in the left behind.
Nature at least does not discriminate
Between what is and some more pristine state.
The ruin carries on, the teller tells,
Each prospering their shadow-selves.
© Wendy Mewes