Yesterday's Promise

Those early years: the morning coffees taken when the day was full of promise vanished in a fog created by that sense I was not to be relied upon or trusted by any life I touched. Those words you said to me before you left me, “Where is your centre?” have never been answered. Doubt hates to be recognised but you saw it in me and gently left the room.

Those seminars where I apparently shone, master of the risk free insight, glib of phrase and careless of consequences proved the essence of what made me admired and a disaster. Beyond the telling phrase I lacked a strategy and the “Moment” proved to be all I could command.

Bravado is not courage, and making an entrance is not the same as walking with a purpose. I had no sense of moral worth but just of those pyrotechnics which prevent others gauging our inner life. Only you saw into that space they call a soul and stood by me for a time at least, but patience I discovered, is seldom more than finite, and so it proved with you. Your laughter and gentle tolerance gave way to disillusion: all I offered you was gestures, I have no faith in anything else, and then there were the girls.

Weak though I was, when faced with temptation, you forgave me twice, but each time less willingly. When you first looked in my eyes love poured from you and wonder lit up your face, but with each transgression, and with my failure to recognise truth, that light dimmed and then I saw you look more often over my shoulder than at me, at other possibilities where my crippled presence could not affect you. That was thirty years ago. Now you live a thousand miles away smiling at faces I will never see; rich in experience I will never share, surrounded by a family I cannot touch. You live a life free of me. Your photograph is all I share.


The End

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