The approaching dusk could be anybody’s dark lover
but here you are by the river, begging for spare change.
I have a pocketful of Kleenex and the key to my mother’s house.
At your feet: top hat, a crow feather, broken glass.
Your drunken tongue is thick with history.
We forget some things, lose some, throw some away.
The song says, it only ever turns to dust
and this limping figure is surely not the one you remember.
It is true, the past never ages, as if it were yesterday
it throws itself at your feet.
This poem is comprised from two Maureen Scott Harris poems, ‘Ghazal 4: For the Clover-Strewn Verge’ and ‘Ghazal 9: Winter’, that first appeared in her collection Drowning Lessons
Five O’Clock at the River
1 February 2012