Last Days

A Raymond Carver blues

From where they're standing
the light is not so good. She walks
ahead, eschewing a smile. She
leads him on into shadow,
a certain blackness falling

at her feet. Then, later,
in the woods, they find a clearing,
and he spies a look of sadness in her eyes
as she takes him by the hand, and slowly
they make love for the last time.

Tomorrow, she will leave.
'Goodbye,' she'll say. 'Thanks. No, I
mean it...' At least that's what he
thinks she'll say as she drives away,
a new man already at her side...

In another city, in another life perhaps,
they'll exchange phone-calls, and
remember those 'old summer days', when,
married, a flower in her hair, a ribbon
tied to her dress, she awaited his soft hands.

Poem © Mark Pirie, 2003