W.S. George
writer composer

When They Come Asking

It's been a while since I talked
to someone who wanted to listen,
told them of all the useless
things I think of to fill the time,

those days have long since dogeared,
there are vignettes on the edges
of the frame, rust, rat bites,
the colours aren't vivid anymore.
Except the smiles,
those will last a while, I think,
before they too are rubbed
off by neglect.

It's the same thing that happens
when I'm forgotten.
I see my finger tips grow lighter,
feel less,
I see a little less light each morning,
or the sun moves a few feet farther,
or the earth drifts away.

I hear a little less too,
speak more softly than I used to,
think a lot more, rather,
and speak in short syllables.

But now I barely whisper;
you'll have to taste the air
right from my lips to know what I'm saying.

This poem will end soon also,
because the mind from which it comes
falters, drifts away into empty space
where planets are for company
that come by once in a few hundred years
to say hello accompanied by
consort moons that look and wonder why
one must fly alone - their
courtesies count for something more than yours,
I'll swear.

If they ever come asking, tell them I
was never there, that I'm that whisper
lingering in the air, and you,
you are responsible for this poem.


© 2017 William Saint George