Now the storm of last night’s passed;
everything lies torn in early morning
like a ship left tattered on the sea,
her rigging all in shreds, decks strewn with debris –
yet the storm itself forgotten, meaningless
beneath the glass-clear sky of morning.
You lie asleep, your hand curled white,
your breathing barely there at all;
and I come close on soundless feet and see
the shouting strewn about the floor,
the twisted arguments, the accusations –
I hear the echo of the long, slow crying
before the silence fell and we both crept away
to the corners of the dark, to gnaw the silence
and hear our hearts until we slept at last.
Now we have awakened into this strange day
and will not know what we should say or think
but look away, pretend, do everything
as if in some unwritten play, and acting badly –
wondering what happens next, how everything will end.
From Kenneth Steven’s newest collection of poems, Letting in the Light,just published by SPCK in London;
a volume about the pain of marital breakdown and the parting from a beloved child.