Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



A Question of Perspective

The plume from an airplane's engines surges over
a swimming pool blue sky. Someone in a window seat
might have glanced below, seen the town's roofs smudged into one,

but couldn't have seen me, lying in a hammock, only later
noticing the contrail that's waned into wisps, the plane long gone
to another time-zone, perhaps now landing at its destination.

In the same way, I can't hope to see you reading this poem,
maybe in bed or at the kitchen table or on your commuter train
or on a beach with the tide coming in to lap your feet.

But I can speculate about who you are - that you are calm and kind,
that you are not going on a murder spree I'll take as a given,
that you have niggling worries, that you have regrets,

that a loss from your past will return at odd moments
like pain, all this I will empathise with should we ever meet;
but for now, my only hope is that this poem - and all the others

you hopefully will go on to read - will give you some respite
from daily life, that they'll be like a plane trip high in the sky
over your other self way down below, invisible to the naked eye.


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