Get Over It

On the radio I heard a man read
a poem from a newly published book.
It was a great poem.
I thought you'd like it.
I thought you'd like the whole book.
I thought I'd like to buy it for you;
send it to you for Christmas.
But you don't want to hear from me.
Ever again.
My handwriting on an envelope
would be unwelcome.
If you saw it amongst the bundle
of mail handed to you by your postman
in the morning, your heart would sink.
"Oh no," you would say,
probably out loud to your postman,
or to one of the cats.
Or else silently, an inward groan.
Perhaps you would throw the package
unopened into your wheelie bin
or onto the fire, the smouldering briquettes.
You wouldn't enjoy the book.
The poems would be tainted
with your sinking "oh no" feeling,
with guilt at having received
a thoughtful gift from someone
you had discarded;
with anger at the unwanted guilt.
You thought you were safe,
that I was safely left behind in
your past; that I would cause you
no more trouble.

So then I thought perhaps I'd send the book
anonymously. No note enclosed.
A printed label on the envelope.
So that you could enjoy the book
without the shadow of me.

And then I copped on to myself.

Julia Fairlie

If you have any comments on this poem, Julia Fairlie would be pleased to hear from you.