Conventionally, lovers should part
in a soft storm
of blown hopes
and unconsumed potential.
Tears blur
the old horizons
and refract a new world
where one is the number.

Some might perceive a beauty
in this crafted heartbreak, others
simply paradox:
from the grit of parting
the tears that form
are like pearls.

Or blood may be shed:
spitting slanders
the lovers may wheel and dive
like wolves in a corner,
the one heartsick
on the arsenic of betrayal,
the other punch-drunk
on guilt.

Little to choose, maybe,
between the vale of tears
and the killing floor,
but passion spent
and smoke where once there was fire
are markers for despair.

The truth is more prosaic.
Just after dawn
they’re sitting in a car.
The street is narrow
and the houses small and terraced.
The engine mutters
and he leaves it running,
a monologue all about departure.

A man clips a breakfast rose
and goes indoors.
“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may”,
she murmurs
and the silence shivers
but it doesn’t break.

He lifts her tear
onto his knuckle,
tastes its salt as last communion.
He floats the final words
and they remain face up,
their shadows hanging.
She steps out
and he drives away.


About Dick Jones

I'm a post-retirement Drama teacher, currently working part-time. I have a grown-up son and daughter, three grandchildren and three young children from my second marriage. I write - principally poetry but prose too, both fitfully published. My poetry collection Ancient Lights is published by Phoenicia Publishing ( and my translation of Blaise Cendrars' 'Trans-Siberian Prosody and Little Jeanne from France' (illustrated by my friend, the artist, writer and long-time blogger Natalie d'Arbeloff) is published by Old Stile Press ( I play bass guitar & bouzouki in the song-based acoustic/electric trio Moorby Jones, playing entirely original material. spotify:artist:07MDD5MK9MnRGSEZwbsas9 I have a dormant blog with posts going back to 2004 at Dick Jones' Patteran Pages - - and I'm a radio ham. My callsign is G0EUV
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