Looking for You

I have sat on the crumbling wall by this decaying mansion
Hour after hour, day after day of wasting, time eroding.
Sometimes at night in the dark hours I have walked with ghosts
And clutched at their pale phantom forms and shapes thinking
I might have missed you and you were there among them.

I have looked for you in gales and drear disastrous weather
When storm and tempest should have kept me home.
Often in draining heat with searing sun blinding my gaze,
The light drenching the green fields and turning them white,
But not even your shadow fell on the pale washed ground.

Once at a party that spilled out of the house onto the terraces
I thought I saw you walking straight limbed across the lawn,
I ran down steps clutching the balustrade, out onto the wide grass
Catching up with you by the pond with the dry and silent fountain.
Breathless I clutched your arm and a stranger turned to face me.

You stared but did not speak, I fled away discomfited ,
Past the deep scented damasks and the faded bourbons,
Through the grey portals into the laughing noisy crowd,
Grabbing a glass and swiftly gulping down a drink,
Chattering nonsense loudly to any who would listen.

The next day I woke to the possibility that you are a myth,
A phantasmagoria formed from a fever in my head,
I don’t think you will ever materialise outside my longings
And the deep mysteries and cravings of my need.

Now, after heavy years and in a certain throw of light
I see again that moment of non recognition, and wonder
Was that stranger who turned to face me really you?
And was it your eyes or mine that did not see?.


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