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 looking up
At a contrail that's waned into wisps, the plane long gone
To another time-zone, perhaps now landing at its destination.

No-one on the plane could have seen me far below,
Just as I can't hope to see you reading this poem, maybe on a 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 will go on to read - will give you respite
For a while, that they'll be like a plane trip high in the sky
Over your other self lounging way down below, invisible to the naked eye.


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