I saw you yesterday across the road, walking
Up the staircase, under the architraves, towards Minerva
And her temple of turning cogs. All I could discern
Was the curve of your shoulders, but though the rain was falling,
The fog thick, I knew it was you by the way the air
Parted for your stride. My friend dropped her ice cream and asked why
We mourn what we never really had. I could not reply,
Thinking how there were surely gems of raindrops in your hair,
Wondering if you might hear my voice above the traffic roar,
If you’d know the shape of my mouth, the cadence of my shout,
Or if to you I’d be a silent, nameless face in the crowd.
The strawberry ice cream, like crossed paths on the shore,
Washed away with the water. You, I’ll have to do without.
The cars and rain are clamoring anyway, and my voice is not that loud.
Written April 28, 2018.
Parameters: loose Petrarchan sonnet
Commentary: Meditation on the frustration of knowing inaction is an action in itself, and sometimes you just have to accept when it’s over.