My mind was years away. A bar or two
went by unrecognised. Then words came in –
sung silently, inside. Words stored with worn
but undiscarded things. Of course she knew.
Who else would think of Crimond with the wind
and winter sounds that swinging cedars bring?

She mentioned a surprise an hour ago
back there between the panic and bouquets.
I meant to ask (surprises scare me) then
it slipped my mind, half-listening I suppose
or looking for the years that l’d mislaid,
or hoping that he hadn’t lost the ring

or turned up at the Baptists’. Now a hand
inside my arm. I might have known. Those two
share twenty years of secrets and it seems
that there are unsaid things in Crimond and
a glove against a sleeve. What else ran through
their minds just then? Something with a leavening

of love and prussic acid I’ll be bound.
They think alike — God help me. Now she stands
beside her husband there. Oh well, he’s found
some shoes, that’s something, two in fact, both brown,
there’s concentration for you. Turning now
I fill the final silence wondering

if there are better ways or other times
to say whatever daughters have to say
on days like these. If so, none come to mind
right now. Unusual this – some music tends
to choke you for a moment, strange, but then
she always did such unexpected things.


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