Eating Sandcastles

I gave up waiting

and drove away.

You were never going to be “Ready”.

You said the words,

like someone forced you to

and they came out dry,

like you’d been eating sandcastles.


Something in your slate grey eyes

reminded me that you were

a lawyer’s daughter

and that you knew well

how to delay, obfuscate

and bend the truth without lying.


You didn’t fill my head

with stillborn dreams

of wedded, domestic bliss;

I did that.

Your only sin,

was thinking that I would still be there,

watching your porch light;

drawn to it,

like some dimwitted moth.


I got sick of orbiting you from a distance.

Part of me just wanted to go for it;

play the ‘Hail Mary’

and throw myself into your atmosphere,

knowing that I would burn up on entry.

Part of me thought the ride

would be worth it.


The other, more sensible parts of me,

talked me in, off the ledge,

worked the gearshift,

the clutch, the gas, the brake

and I was rolling away from you;

escaping the clutches of your orbit.

Emancipated from the self-styled ties,

that I gave

and you denied, so freely.


I won’t ever forget your name,

or the way the words

crumbled in you mouth,

unable even to shape the response

that I had longed to hear.

I could never force you,

or persuade you,

but it will always make me think

that it sounded like someone

had a gun to your head,

forcing you

to eat sandcastles.


HG – 2016

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