He stood in rain that Halloween
Waiting for a bus, I told him
This bus wouldn’t go that night
Due to a sudden strike.
There was a cold draught, made me shiver
When his eyes met mine.
He had the oldest eyes
That I had ever seen,
The whitest hair.
He was carrying a bag
all torn and mouldy,
a browner shade of green.
He asked, we went for a drink,
I carried his bag.
He didn’t drink,
He just told me that he
Had not been back to life
For a long time. He was tired.
I blamed the impact
Of his words
On the red wine I had drunk.
He let me talk,
We talked of what should matter most
And then I asked
What was in the bag
That was so heavy. He sadly smiled.
‘Just memories of every bitter love that ever was,
and all that lovers dreamed, their nightmares too,
Mementos of great friendships that were not so great
And thoughts of good times turning out real bad.’
I was intrigued.
‘Perhaps these things
Should be forgotten,’ I remarked.
‘I wish I could. I wish that I could
Just walk out and leave this life for good. So there.’
I was not sure that I had understood.
I got my coat, then turned and he was gone.
I watched him walking
Just before he was absorbed
In the city mist.
He’d left his bag
And I could not resist:
I took a look inside.
The bag was empty now,
Weighing nothing anymore.
But I could not move on:
My heart, my body heavy, filled
With all the grief and lovers’ pain.