Having coffee one evening with someone I don't know well
she looked over at me and asked if I knew whether I was loved.
It was a strange turn to the conversation from safe to perilous
and my silence was not as she suspected, of offence taken at all.
I was thinking back to the early days with my kind and gentle man
who still spent many a long evening with his old flame back then
and I remembered just how that feeling of incredible doubt felt.
I'm not sure that I said the right thing at all that night
It's hard to know how to respond to such an immediate risk
of saying too much .. or more likely listening far too little
The instinct is always there to read solely the surface meaning
and shy away from what lies beneath .. huh .. what a coward eh?
I wasn't really much help as I couldn't think of much to say
so I just sat and listened to a long tale of serial infidelity.
I guess sometimes you get so desperate to talk about things
that once you start you just can't stop, and so out it all poured
and the tears flowed and the only thing I could think of to do
was to open some wine and talk about the things that actually matter.
And that evening I learnt something of a new form of loneliness
and so the wall between aquaintance and friendship tumbled down
and I saw how a fundamental breach of trust rots into your very soul.
There's a problem being a trusted person, and I felt it that night
as I lay in bed and reviewed what I'd said for I needed to ensure
that I had not broken a confidence from a conversation I'd had before.
I know the man concerned as we have been sort of pals for some years now
and he has on the odd occasion alluded to his "away day" activities
to which I've said nothing at all, for who am I to judge such things.
Still, keeping two sides of essentially the same confidence is awkward.
Praise Song by Lucille Clifton
16 hours ago