Some words that were said to me want blood:
they swarm inside my bow mouth
which tightens as I smile at him –

he pushes breath out his nose and looks down at his meal.
Good men sniff and don’t say how they feel.

And now the words will lodge in him, till,
sitting at the table, years from now…
She won’t deserve it, but neither did he
and the stories of another way are lies –

as if those words could ever have been trapped
in a tea tin by a traveller
on an old cart leaving town.

 Helen Fletcher

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