forty years on

windy day on the ridge
imagining myself on Hampstead Heath
forty years ago
when friendship meant more
than the contact list I have now

winter sits thinly on the bough
some deer bolt the clearing at the sight of me
I turn for home
and a solitary tea
thankful for friends I never see

meaningful gaps

spaces appeared on the shelves
as the time of departure drew near
reminding me of when you first arrived
to draw back the curtains
and flood the place with light

so too
intervals in conversation
as symptoms grew worse
speech harder

now through a chink in the curtains
only a thin strip remains
of the day

I pull them together and withdraw
to the meaninglessness
of sleep