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On Upnor Road

by Elizabeth Spires

     Set back from the street behind a stand of trees,
a shuttered house unnoticed by casual passers-by,
     where I see you standing in the middle of your life,
poised to enter a summer evening where there will be
     drinks and then a meal on an old stone terrace,
and it will seem, as the glass of wine is lifted to your lips,
     that no one you know will ever have to die.
All this, of course, has already happened, happened
     many times, never to happen again. In that faraway dark,
two voices softly braid themselves into one murmuring
     conversation, but words spoken so long ago
want to be private. I would not imagine it otherwise.
     Unasked, I have entered a memory I was never part of,
and come face to face with love's leisurely vanished pace.
     Everything's changed. The new owner's cut down trees,
cleared decades of overgrowth to let the light in, and anyone
     passing right now will only see what the too-bright
present wants them to see: a gracious forthright house,
     empty of meaning, sitting overexposed in spring sunlight.

Copyright 2010 by Elizabeth Spires. Used with permission of the author.
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