I walked all the way from town
And it was such a dark night.
The moon slipping in and out
Of the silent sky,
As if it were newly silvered
And couldn’t bear to be hidden.
My steps sounding as loud
As a snapped branch in the wind,
I jumped off the paving
Onto the dirt path running by the river,
Where, every now and then,
Stars sailed in the water and drowned.
I was always told, as a certainty,
That the young men marched down here,
Heading to where their Lovers
And watchful mothers waited.
Getting so close to home,
Their shadows sparkled on closed doors,
Their feet stepping quietly
Down the garden path, mostly on the grass,
Not to waken those still listening.
The world quivered at such tenderness,
Night folding in upon itself,
Folding in upon love, adding and multiplying.
The dog barked and the cat
Wound around a frill of empty air,
And someone in the sleeping house
Looked out of a window,
There was nothing to be seen.
But, as everyone knows, that didn’t mean
No-one was there.
© 2021 Gwen Grant