Not so far from gilded Versailles
she comes to the pond at Ville d’Avray
where a silver birch implies a frame
and a nearby bough goes out on a limb.
The cypresses stand in their proper spot,
far from this foreground niche where regret,
rich in brutal words and actions,
leans and turns to cooler reflections.
The mind drifts, and the afternoon
drifts with it. For now, she feels no pain –
for now. Yet some hint of that hits home
on the gnarled path as she passes him.
Michael Caines lives in London, and was longlisted for this year’s National Poetry Competition.