Another Time

BTS cover

I kissed
you when your spear hissed
towards that mammoth lost in a silent day-dream,
slid through its eye.

I consoled you after Tibu, running to hide,
laughing, skipping along the banks of the old Nile in flood
slipped and fell;
and though I raced there, crashed
into the water, thrashed towards him
I could not
could not
before that crocodile
and the blood, blood of your child, everywhere.

In our cave, millennia before,
I know I watched you
as flames caught and licked
the little sticks I had laid,
you so young still in the dusk, cold and hungry,
eyes drinking in the fire,
open-mouthed,
waiting to be fed.

Another time,
I held you in my arms, an old, old woman,
held you so that you could breathe as
your heart laboured and failed –
thought I was helping you let go
when really you were helping me, who would not let you
and was holding, holding, holding …

The tide turns and flows: again I hold you in my arms,
this time young wife, young bride
once more.

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