Flight now boarding by Gateway Number One.
That’s you. Don’t hurry. Time to check your lists –
hand luggage, passport, coat-bag – before you’re plunged
in the buffeting tide of strange somnambulists.
John Donne would have no tear-floods nor sigh-tempests.
At seventy things are different, anyway.
Together we planned this measured separation:
no question but you travel, and I stay.
Socrates did not dally with the hemlock
but drank it and lay down when it was due.
We’ve said all that we needed to. You stand
gather your things, and move towards the queue.
The sword dividing: Customs and Immigration.
My love, I watch you thread your way, and turn
with a small timeless smile, and trail your trolley
unhurried through the gate of no return.
Travelling so long together. Custom, habit.
Journeys have ends. The fact is widely known.
We argued about the route on the way to the airport:
now every chance and choice is mine alone.
Driving away, I peer into a distance
inscrutable as the abyss of cold night sky.
Who will go through the door that swings and closes?
Who turn back to a house of no reply?