Lesley Smith is retired and living alone in Dublin. She worked in the Health Services all her life, loves to travel, and spends time with friends and family. She has written poetry all her life. She loves to bring her readers on a journey with her and to evoke in them the emotion she is feeling when writing. She loves the light and shade of life and tries to recreate experiences in words.
In the most beautiful perfect garden,
even there something is dead,
or at best in a deep silent sleep.
We each have a different notion
of our perfect garden,
we favour different flowers
and sometimes even weeds.
Think of each miracle of growth,
from the tiniest seed,
sometimes a speck.
Each cutting back strengthens.
Smell the perfume.
Wonder at the architecture of each flower.
Colours, each beautiful,
or contrasting it’s surround.
Imagine a world where a sunflower
mustard yellow and black
follows the sun as it travels across the sky.
You are here.
The earth, mucky,
mixed with nature’s tears,
just like life’s despair, constantly
brings forth a beauty God creates.
It started with a glance,
An old-fashioned wink,
Him in the garden,
Her at the window looking down.
It was unspoken, one-sided,
For her it was real.
It had been years since
She had watched a man,
Felt physical desire.
An age since she had laughed,
Grinned like a schoolgirl.
Seventeen years separated them.
She was old enough to have birthed him.
Culture, mother tongue and time
Stood between them.
One free desiring connection, love.
One loved, happy with a family, a wife.
She never spoke a word of it to him.
She told him she would miss her daily visit.
He had looked at her a little strangely one day.
She wondered briefly if he might know,
Feel it too.
Saw her how she once might have been.
Now grey haired, wrinkled,
She knew she had nothing to offer.
He was neither interested nor free.
An offer or word would make him flee.
The work ended; her loneliness returned.
She cried the day he finished.
An old woman with a fantasy.
He said he would like to hug her goodbye.
He heart stopped.
Covid allowed a fist bump.
She held back the urge to pull him close.
She said thank you and smiled instead.
He would never know.
She would never tell a living soul.
She had fallen in love at sixty-six.
This man in another time and place
Would have been her dream.
In this life and time,
He was a man who built things.
Her heart had soared,
For six whole weeks,
He had made her laugh.
In his presence, she was alive, thriving,
Without him, she stagnated.
A sad reality descended.
She could dream of course.
Nothing would come of it.
What she felt was real, intense.
The loss of possibilities weighed heavily.
Time to put childish thoughts aside.
Reality and acknowledgement
Of lost opportunities,
Too late now for love,
Too late for passion and desire.
Past the time for new beginnings,
Past the time for hope,
Just an impossible love.
I had a thought within my brain
that I tried to lose but it remained
and ate and wormed and spread around
till every sound was not a sound
but an echo of the thought
that would not leave
and when I tried to speak a plea
the thought increased and stilled my tongue
and I knew you were the only one
that could pull the thought away
but you had just left yesterday
and so the thought was amplified
and ate and tossed and churned inside
and every breath it fed my brain
and fed the thought and caused more pain
and every morsel that I ate
gave strength to think and no sad grace.
So when the thought grew really strong
and sleep evaded, pills were gone.
I called your name and called in vain
I wanted solace and help not pain.
So kill the body, then the soul.
The thought won through I died alone.
It is the morning of the wedding,
I am full of dread, loneliness and envy tempered with relief.
If only you were here, if only.
We stayed in this hotel, made love, spooned, cuddled,
Woke to put on matching towelling robes,
Had breakfast in the room.
I was content here, beyond content. Today you feel close.
I will dance tonight. Smile at the reception.
It is her special day but my cherished memory.
I was trying to hang it up properly when the packet fell to the floor,
I could not believe he left them, casually, in his coat hung on the door.
I picked up the packet and checked it, opening it I could see,
He had cheated at least three times, cheated on me.
I stood still, heart beating loudly, I felt weak forgetting to breath.
I put it back where I found it determined not to believe.