In Between Days

I am stiff and without electronics (a word that already sounds old in my mouth),
paper-writing and sat on the reddish tile floor of a tidy English bathroom.

There are prints on the walls of Guy’s and St. Thomas’s hospitals.
Antiquated glass jars (empty) with labels advertising citrates and lozenges,
quinine tonics for the nerves.

All else in sight is modern, albeit with the dust of Victorian design.
A brass pot with a tall rubber plant has a lion’s head with an iron ring through its mouth.
The bath’s hand shower sits on a complicated nest of silver
with lettering for hot and cold from the same font set as the printed labels.
Half walls of tile are embellished (white on white) with wreathes and thistles
while far away we are bombing somewhere.

We being the British who only days ago (the begining of our visit)
did the Scottish agree to remain enfolded with.
The idle minds wonders if this sudden sending of planes
to somewhere would have had a material effect on the vote.

I sit on the bathroom floor because all the beds are taken
in the darkness of an early night.
Tomorrow we will aim to ride our own plane from here
across the Atlantic where those other types of aircraft
have also been sent out bombing in concerted parallel.

I am dying.
We all are, simply at different rates.
Some at our own behest, some at the behest of others.
Most of this, while immediate and urgent (however long it takes)
is circumstantial.
People write about it, mourn it, photograph it, protest it, cause it.

The wolves dies out or are shot.
The deer bloom and deforest.
The rivers widen and the fish suffer.
There is a pause (or not).
The wolves are re-introduced.
Causes are effected.
Changes are observed.
Lessons are learned.
Or otherwise.

And tonight, if fortunate, we go off to bed
at our different times and in our different ways
and tomorrow, if fortunate, we carry on or start again.
Depending.

And it is evolution (in the end and as it happens also)
and all we can consider worthy is any local suffering
that can be alleviated, any anguish that can be forestalled.

And we are mostly small and made so, not just by size,
but also by coincidence, numbers and circumstance.
And then, at some point, for us, that’s the end of it.

And on this bathroom’s floor and separate from the fight
of much beyond my lion and these thistles,
the short clarity of this helps my chattering self
silence not unhappily towards my own sleep.

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