This poem is taken from Stand 219, 16(3) August - September 2018.

Robert Clinton Two Poems
Old Friends

I could have come injured. I might have had a scratch
or a bruise or buds sprung up in my lungs     

but I own too much to be sick, and you are no nurse,
and won’t stay for blood or eventualities.     

I might have come laughing, straw-hatted, proud
of the weight of my tools, of their oils, of my cat,

but their weights are inside me, poorly balanced,
to be discarded, and my cat knows your heart is mute.   

I could have come sadly, out of the world’s time and
nowhere at home, hearing steady the negative winds,

but you run from want. You run from want
and reprehend remorse – who trained you so?

So I came to you calm . . . and glad to find you,

abandoning my mocking riddles, my peculiar wit, yet
somewhat more, somewhat more speaking than a mime

and nothing like as pale. Here soft-spun through long
afternoons we list our favourite books and songs.
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