Out Of Exile

Entry by: jaguar

27th April 2017
Someone Else’s Loss

I stand the other side
of the supermarket aisle,
pretend I don’t see you,
too obsessed by my own hurt
should I get this wrong.

But your face says you're barred
from your native country,
somewhere strange, unwanted.
I'd like to give you
that silly warming of skin
to skin, something disposable, myself,
I'd like to do that for him.

I saw his obituary
in the local paper,
recognised your name,
the girlfriend after me,
the wife,
the widow.
Now there are places
neither of us can return.

You pick up a box of cereal,
hug it to your body,
put it back on the shelf.
I look at the replaced packet,
his favourite brand,
cross to you, touch your arm,
say: ‘I’m so sorry, it was too sad.
I remember how special he was,
feel a little diluted loss myself,
your home, your days so changed.’

Your pupils dilate in cartoon shock,
you pull me in to a crying hug,
we are both sobbing as you say:
'this feels like coming out
of the exile of loss, when even
my closest friends avoided me.
We haven’t seen each other
in twenty years, all we had
in common was a man, I can’t
believe you bothered.'