Your Love and London
It was not footsteps but words that we left,
As we crossed the page, the ink still wet –
Our umbrellas drooping like Tower of London ravens –
You were the stranger whose shadow fell over my page,
Yellowed by the lamplight’s puddle on Portman Square.
Though stood with you, I could not but think of the desk,
The abandoned pen, the waiting ribbon,
Waiting for my life to bring them life,
Poured out from the wine of who I was –
That same lamplight was flooding the writing table, above us.
But London returned to its alleys and porticoes,
Huddled under its umbrellas and the grey wings of its pigeons.
Wren’s churches were silent against the golden sky.
The lanterns burned darkly, full of the romance of lives now invisible –
And I felt the passing, passionate shadows of fleeing lovers down these streets,
When London burned and I imagined the echo of a gramophone.
But our book closed suddenly –
And I felt my life turn a page within me.
For at that moment, you doffed your hat and left my poems.
Elizabeth Jane Timms is a historian, freelance writer, historical consultant and poet, based in Oxford. Her poetry has appeared in The Oxonian Review, Coldnoon, North of Oxford and elsewhere. She is a Member of the University of Oxford Poetry Society.