by Richard Vince

In my imagination, we traded
Shropshire towns; our favourite
Spots on the same river,
Wide waters reflecting how
We chose to spend our days.

Yours was divided between
High and low, separated by
A steep hillside that was
Hard work both up and down.

Mine had stepped back from
The border its castle once
Defended, surrounded itself with
Water; but there were bridges
You could have crossed
If you had ever wanted to.

Like so many adventures back then,
It was over before it began:
Nothing was explored, not even
Our reasons for the mess
Of misunderstanding we made.

We really were in different places,
It seems, and so we were saved
A journey neither of us wanted
To make after all.

Yet another arrow dodged,
Though part of me still wishes
To have felt the sting of it
Piercing my heart, sure that
Pleasure would have leavened the pain.

One day, perhaps, I will learn to
Accept the happiness I have been
Given, rather than yearn for
Sadness that might have been.

Today is not that day, however,
And so my mind wanders along
The riverside path, and looks across
At the empty space beside it.


Posted on 02/05/2021
Copyright © 2021 Richard Vince

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