The Lost Keys

I was always good at finding things, so
when you gave up (you’d looked and looked)
I stayed behind. Careful and slow
my cranny-and-nook, drawer-and-book
search for the key-in-a-haystack began
and after two hours I was empty-handed.

The next afternoon your friend called—
she had picked them up inadvertently;
they had never been in the building at all
and my loving survey of stairwell and hall
was as pointless as scooping tears from the sea,
talking to mermaids, or making your tea.

Helena Nelson

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