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To Waverley

by John Stocks

A third week in January
Subtle fissure in time’s strata
Like this journey within a journey
Sliding past the gun-metal Ouse
To pause at York, two hours from Waverley.

They sit and read — There’s nothing to say
In marriage the words die first —
Or stare at clouds of trembling grey.
She recalls a charming man
This character in a Pinter play.

This is the age of retribution:
A long silence thick as broth
And nothing stirs the slow diffusion
Of bold hope to hopelessness
The final act of disillusion.

A third week in January
Open wounds and weeping skies
Each hurried glance emotive larceny
His weary shoulders stooped
Like the victim of some conspiracy.

Copyright © 2009 by John Stocks

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