Life carries a sense of ceremony
yet only, perhaps, when we come to,
seldom staring upon Machu Picchu,
but on street corners, or standing in kitchens,
suddenly alert to our aftermaths,
and in these instants of absolute privacy
we raise one hand to go over the words…
until the kettle boils, that song fades out,
or cloud slides in like a sombre arras,
whereupon we push so much away
to smooth out the creases, then smile to ourselves,
thinking it’s not as if somebody died –
even, in truth, when somebody died –
and just like that we completely forget
our attendance to the office of the moment.
And yet. And yet.
Whatever it was we solemnly swore,
our hearts beat hard, behind their own closed doors.
Andrew Neilson is a poet, essayist and London-living Scot, originally from Edinburgh.