Selling your soul to prove a point

And when you had got to the end of the line:
turning around you saw that you knew it all,
so you did the deed.

Not at a crossroads
with a blues soundtrack,
but at a bus station café in Margate,
over a stale sausage roll
you made your covenant.

O he was smart enough,
and looked into your eyes;
said all the right things,
offered you the world
and another coffee.

And, like you said, your mind was made up already:
your conscience unpricked by the pin that drew your blood.

And so you scratched your name
at the bottom of a paper napkin,
and told me afterwards
how the room got darker then,
and how one old woman got up and left,
wiping a glassy eye.

You looked different when I saw you next;
younger perhaps, less lined.
‘I can do anything now,’ you said:
seemed to sweep out of the room.
‘You could have done before,’ I said,
but you were gone.

We lost touch, I grew numb,
although I heard of you from time to time
through the pages of the newspapers.

You looked happy
but there was something behind that smile:
restless: gnawing,
keeping you moving, keeping you running.

I hope that you’re happy.

Matt Gambrill

If you've any comments on this poem, Matt Gambrill would be pleased to hear from you.

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