Fred Johnston – Watch in Shoe



: for Gene Barry :

One day the poetry will have an end.
We’ll hardly notice and certainly the media will not.
The daily plots will not change course
Football terraces still scream themselves hoarse

Some squinting academics may tickle a thesis
For an explanation
But the plain fact is that poetry will sicken

And there will be no cure,
No physick to bring a blush to its cheeks
No potions conjured under cheese-faced moons

One day we will open the door, call its name
And there will be no reply, its suitcases in the hall.
It’s going will be a sort of divorce
It will not leave a note.

Poetry was always a lover who left his watch
In his shoe by the bed, poetry was always gone
Before breakfast and never made promises to ring.
It had no use in the kitchen
It had no use trying to be somebody.

It will end up under a cardboard sheet
Shivering and then it will conclude, cease, expire –
Like all fevers it will die by cooling down
And we may, for all we know, be glad.

Fred Johnston

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