It’s hard when two becomes one.

I wrote this in response to a woman on an internet forum, who seems trapped in a marriage that has run out of steam. There is nothing lonelier than to be in a marriage where the love and communication has gone.

The computer in the corner

is always on, it seems.

he sits and hides his feelings

and ignores her hopes and dreams.

At night they go their separate ways

no time to hold or chat

no comparing of their days

no talk of this or that.

No money to spend

no places to go

No interests in common

No love to show.

She tries to knit

and hide her tears

at night she reads

to forget her fears.

The passion has gone

though friendship stays

her loneliness grows

through the endless days.

As the years pass by

more tears she’ll cry

loneliness grows day by day

no kissing no sharing no loving,

and really, nothing to say.

There’s nothing so lonely as life with your man

when the caring and sharing have gone

and it’s scary to stay and it’s scary to go

and it’s hard when two becomes one.

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It looked like a party

It looked like a party

the day we said goodbye;

People gathered together in the sunshine

Light sparkling on the water

and the scent of flowers.

Your children and their partners

greeted old friends with hugs and

offers of cups of tea,

and your husband busied himself

making sure all was perfect.

It looked like a party

the day we said goodbye;

Old friends kissed and reminisced

and asked for reminders of names

long forgotten.

It looked like a party

the day we said goodbye;

We walked beside you along the canal,

jazz playing, a train hooting an acknowledgement

as it passed on an adjacent track.

At the end of the towpath

men carried you from your last trip on the canal

to a car.

It didn’t seem like a party any more.

The things that he has done

Confusion fills his daily life

and memories are gone

of times he spent, of places,

and of things that he has done.

His family tries to shield him

they say that it’s all lies

their loved one is an innocent man

not a criminal in disguise.

But in other people’s heads

the horrors linger on

No place to hide from

hateful deeds –

the things that he has done.

Too late perhaps to prosecute

he couldn’t answer now

But hard for those whose pain

is caused

by the things that he has done.

Lucky Loretta

Lucky Loretta came by for coffee and a

Biscuit and a

chat.

Lucky Loretta came by to admire a

baby bump

and the latest achievements of a

special little boy

and his brothers.

Lucky Loretta.

Lucky Loretta sat and chatted for a while

As the little boys

ran round making noise,

and showed her their toys –

and the contents of a potty.

Lucky Loretta.

The Shoe

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The brown shoe, distorted by the woman who had worn it

In happy times and sad

became my focus on the day I went to Belsen

With my Dad.

The massive graves which looked like houses

to a little girl of seven

Contained so many bodies it was difficult

to comprehend….

Like looking round a gallery at many famous paintings;

In the end they blur into one another

and you can’t appreciate any of them

as much as you would if you were shown only one.

And so, when we went in to the hut containing

belongings of the dead

I cried for the woman whose foot had distorted

the leather.

And now, 59 years later, I still remember that woman

and her shoe.

Clogging Roads

Our daily trips could be mistaken

for outings.

our daily drives could be mistaken

for the things we used to laugh at others for.

Old people do that, you know…

clog up the roads with their little slow cars,

when younger people have more important things to do.

Our daily trips are noticed by younger neighbours

who watch us drive out every morning in the rush hour

and wonder why we couldn’t wait until later,

when they won’t need the roads

to get to their important places of work.

When we arrive at our destination

the same place every day

and meet other old people who have clogged the roads

from their homes

Our conversations always start the same way

How beautiful the signs of spring, how warm the sun,

and not the radiotherapy

that is the reason for our clogging of the roads.

Wedding day

Today is the day we dreamed of

Today we say “I do”

Today we hold hands

And proclaim to the World

You love me, and I love you.

We’ll walk through the door marked “Marriage”

A place we always dreamed we could be;

Husbands together forever

Me for you, and you for me.