One of those days when the morning
Is losing the struggle to be born,
Heavy cloud smothering each ray's attempt
To creep out of the hills,
The pale sun-disc already too exhausted
To glow in the ragged breaks in the cloud.
One of those days when the bus is late,
When the coffee machine has broken down,
And no one is bothered about fixing it.
This is not a day to meet anyone socially,
Just for staying indoors and doing my job,
Saying nothing as I slip down to the cafe
For a take-out large black, no sugar.
I still see it now, still smell the coffee.
She appeared as if from nowhere,
Pushed ahead of me in the queue,
Smiling at me to give herself permission.
The smile that woke up the day,
That woke up the whole month,
That woke up my whole life,
Startled my dormant heart,
And told me to marry her--
Fifty years ago come tomorrow.
At the end I was rusty, had lost my edge,
Handle had long ago come off.
I sensed it was the scrap heap for me as soon as
She found a new sharp blade for the kitchen.
Knives are not Buddhists--
We don't come back as ax heads,
Or machine parts, or paper clips.
We go to knife heaven where
Our blades are straightened and sharpened,
With a new handle added:
And we live in a celestial drawer of shiny cutlery
With angel choir knife music playing constantly.
Sydney Peck is a schoolteacher and ardent poet, and in his spare time enjoys singing and playing traditional folk music.