First one, and then the other,
you put your two feet on my knees
so I can take off your shoes.

This morning I remember you
tugging at my arm
as we ran to catch the bus.
When you got off
you dropped your bag and waved.
Now you sit there,
eyes closed, hair askew,
sinking into your huge armchair
with your hands resigned and open
on your lap.

All the way home
you leant on my arm, limping.
You were telling me
how you'd lost the heel
and found it on the landing,
and how you'd struggled up the stairs,
your shoe in one hand
and your bag in the other.
You were telling me
about the morning and the afternoon,
about letters, and appointments,
and misplaced files,
and having to smile
every time you picked up the phone.

Was it after lunch you spilled
the coffee on your sleeve?

I'll tell you what.
We'll keep it half-past six
a while longer yet.
I'll cook tonight.
Right now you just sit,
slide your feet up close,
and I'll ease your soul
back into you
through your clenched-up toes.


  1. Anonymous3:06:00 PM

    I really like your gentle touch with every day things...

  2. Anonymous4:30:00 PM

    This is lovely and calming. You know what, people don't need anti-depressants, they just need to read your poetry! Thanks for sending me the link :-)

  3. Nice slice of life. A few things. S1,L2, suggest omit "two" in front of feet. (Redundant). S2,L1, construct is wrong? Should be (?) "I remember you this morning" (otherwise you're remembering her in the morning, not the evening). This could also give a nice line break after "I remember you". In Stanzas 2 and 3, I'd look for ways to excise "you" and "your" where possible. There are several places to experiment with that. They become repetitive.

    Love the last stanza, especially the last three lines.

  4. Anonymous8:40:00 PM

    Hush...from the moment running to the bus,I was right beside you for the ride. Sam, thank you for allowing the world to be a color on your palette and see through your eyes.


  5. Ellen, much love and respect to you - on the technical aspects, I am already my own worst critic. But thanks so much for taking the time to help me artistically and stylistically.

    'Hush' won a BBC and UK Poetry Society Prize, so for many reasons, technical and historical - it'll have to remain as is.

  6. Thank you for the words. I remember softness now.

  7. Love it, so human, so tender. The 1st stanza gave me a lil' psychic knock out blow. I was entirely open to experiencing every word which followed. A prayer, a blessing to the lil' one. Thank You

  8. Thanks so much all for the kind words

  9. Was it after lunch you spilled
    the coffee on your sleeve?

    love the imagery of the line, overall, vivid and beautiful piece.

  10. Exquisite, Samuel-- when you get a minute I would so love your take on the poem I put up for Magpie today, Sunday. xxxj I wouldn't change a hair on the head of this gorgeous poem, BTW. xxxj

  11. Oh, that was just amazing . . . so soothing. I love it.

  12. very nice set the scene so well and i am glad that the narator is there to ease the reentry into life...i felt the weight on their shoulders and it was heavy...

  13. Lovely, especially in conveying a heart-felt sense of tenderness. The details that normally would seem so prosaic (like the coffee on the sleeve) are what make this memorable. I like how you move (walk) us through the day's timeline.

  14. The tenderness touched me deeply... the sharing of pain of two human souls... and one giving and the other receiving with open heart... lovely.. I liked your last lines...

    'and I'll ease your soul
    back into you
    through your clenched-up toes.'

    ... beautiful companionship

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    At Twitter @VerseEveryDay

  15. Tender and lovely...
    and I'll ease your soul
    back into you
    through your clenched-up toes.
    Love the feel of this.

  16. A lovely, touching endearment from you Sam, you old softy. As someone else said, you have a very gentle touch with the every day things of life.

  17. This embodies what love is about as far as I'm concerned. Each committed, sharing, picking up the threads of the other's stories and life. I loved it as I do all of your poems, Sam.

  18. Anonymous6:33:00 AM

    I love how you have evoked a relationship between the figures in this poem - but I have to confess, I was confused as to who the narrator was addressing -it seemed like a child at first, then a woman, then maybe a man the end, I just chalked it up to, there's a caregiver and a loved one. :o)

  19. Ah, the sweetness of married love. :)

    I too am glad the poem will remain as it is. Sometimes poetics transcend rules!

  20. beautiful! sweet ending.

  21. vivid writing, Sam.

    How is your day?

    Glad to land here,
    Amazing poetic muses shared,

    Welcome joining us for poets rally week 57,
    A random poem or a free verse is okay.
    Hope to see you in.

    Happy Thursday.


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