Poems for Old Acquaintances

“We laugh convincingly
To show the table next to us
How lovely it is to see you!”

Catching Up

Melanie Beckerleg

Casual meetings
Of divergent paths on random walks
Amidst the cobbles and the rain.
Both caught off-guard – I’d love to stay
But I
Have things to do.
Yes, I’ve
Got places to be,
But we really must
Oh yes – we must!
Meet up some time.

We’ll try half-heartedly – at least!
For months
To squeeze each other in beside
The marble wedges in our busy lives:
The work, the stress, the stuff we can’t get out of.
Or else something will come up and we
Will put it off until
Another Day.

But oh! those miracle occasions
When we manage to adjust the heavens
And align ourselves (finally!)
Together; time and place.

We’ll mince through social formula
To establish
So, how’s life?
What have you been up to?…
… Yet both are drawing up
Subconscious wall charts
Measuring whose days are most productive and
Whose time is most well-spent.
Hear that silent judgement; listen
To the unvoiced intonation:
What have you been up to?

And when at last we’ve each
Exhausted our interrogators
We laugh convincingly
To show the table next to us
How lovely it is to see you!
I can’t believe it’s been so long-
We’ll have to do it again
Sometime.

And then
we’ll bury ourselves
in the cake crumbs and the dregs of tea
so we don’t have to face each other
or the knowledge that we’ve dropped so far behind
we’ll never really
“catch up”.Quixote

Gabriel Samuels

Where are we now?
You, minding the kids,
Snaking the stops,
Kendal Rise a scratch on the lens and
Stumbling the shortest way home.

Me, breaking the mould with a
‘So good to see you!’ and a smile
Loose and fast, etched on by a
Blind sculptress,
When I really mean ‘I can’t believe
I’m seeing you’.

I know you know,
You’ve got one too.
‘You look so well!’ but you don’t,
More exclamation marks confettied
On a face which years have not
Been good to, once so loved

And long be’mottled.
Doesn’t stop it all from flooding back,
Crisp pink bedsheets and soft skin,
Hollow scratching at the door.
You talk at me and I’m glad
This next stop’s yours.

You walk away,
Arremetiendo a molinos, otra vez
And a blade that rusts too late.
Heart fluttering to the
Stillness of the tunnels,
Dancing slowly to the clap,
We let past shadows
mind
the gap.

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