He came in the night

like the Software Update option
on her phone.  She’d rather have him then
than not at all.  It was almost enough;
her life wasn’t on hold.  A few close friends
knew all about her icing-on-the-cake theory.

All the same, she played games with time.
Guessed when to change the sheets,
hanging them outside,
praying for that windswept innocent smell
to last until he knocked on her window.
The sheer exhilaration of unadulterated lust
without crusty morning eyelids,
the shovelling-in of muesli,
or running late for work.

The facts were:
she had two full wardrobes
of instant gratification clothes. 
He wasn’t going anywhere,
was on new medication.
They didn’t talk about it much.
Why would they when his body worked
 just fine?

If they’d lived in France,
she would have been at the funeral
instead of on this small-minded island
where they’d lost the bigger picture
and were getting the hell out of Europe.

If she’d lived in France,
she would have taken herself out to lunch,
drunk the wine, ordered dessert.
Why deprive yourself?  So English.
Instead she joins the neighbours at the pub –
free-for-all on Friday at five.
She wants to tell them:
He was a lovely bloke and a first-rate plumber.

That evening at yoga
her black mat is dank earth.
She pictures his willow and cornskin casket. 
Downward dog.  Feels herself sinking.                    
Warrior II.  She has no more strength.   
Highland Twist: look up at the mountains.                   
To turn and find your balance isn’t easy.                     
But she is upright.
For a few seconds, upright and breathing.    

Candyce Lange  

If you have any comments on this poem,  Candyce Lange  would be pleased to hear from you.