Too Late for Love


The landlord shows,
rough and grim
in thrown-on clothes.
Raising his mallet,
he splits the door
while I predict a vengeful act –
and yet he seems
to know the score;
to understand my plight.
Efficiently, he evicts
the looming rats,
mends the walls
and cooks a meal for two.

Later, I recall
a white feather
which fluttered
from the left side of his chest
to sink unsullied
to the weathered floor.

As I search for what I need
I watch his smile
erase the midnight lines,
clarifying his kindly cause,
taste the the air
he cleanses with his breath,
feel his heart reach out for me,
and yet I did not intend
to weave this web
that snags his strings;
It happened as I slept.

Briefly stretching silken strands
he bends my way
and kisses me.
His lips’ pink embrace
leaves me thirsting
for completion,
for love, for
that I
can only synthesise.

My throat closes.
how can I explain
that he arrived too late,
that I am but a shifting wraith,
my lustre but a spectral trick
of unexpected light.
He will not believe me
if I say I am
a victim of time.
He will shake his head
if I tell him
I am dead.

Silently, I step away
to roam the lonely world alone.

Word of the Day Challenge: Spectre

©Jane Paterson Basil

24 thoughts on “Too Late for Love

        1. My son. On Monday evening he was woken by someone standing over him, punching him in the face. I had to take him in, since he’d suffered a head injury. He’s OK – apart from a cracked jaw and cuts and bruises – but he doesn’t want to go home. He requires a lot a attention at the moment – apart from when he’s using my laptop…

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Paul has two distinct aspects to his character. In my dream he’s the one who wrecked my home, knocking down my walls (destroying my security) and making the place filthy – something he does when he comes to see me. He’s also the landlord who repairs the damage. The landlord’s face changes toward the end of the dream. It’s no longer my son, but someone who loves me and wants to protect me. He doesn’t know he’s arrived too late.

      It feels like an endless cycle – partial recovery and then relapse. Paul is a monster when he relapses. Last night, after a terrible tantrum, he hugged me aggressively, said goodbye and stormed off pretending he was going to kill himself. He came back in the middle of the night and wrote ‘Love you’ across my oak table in marker pen. Today, he’s fine.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. We had a lovely day. My eldest daughter and ten year-old grandson were with us, so we visited an aquarium.

          Although Paul’s outbursts are horrendous, each time he comes out of them he seems to have learnt something. We had a quiet weekend together. Today he’s talked more sense than he has since the drug nightmare began. That was 17 years ago.

          Liked by 2 people

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