Shadows and Fog
Poem by D.J. Hamilton (USA), Featured in Issue 22.
Image courtesy of Liliana Perez (Mexico)
D.J. Hamilton has worked in theatre and has been writing for many years. He is now a creative writing teacher at the American School Foundation in Mexico City. He is also a member of The Ofi Press Poetry Circle which meets monthly.
Shadows and Fog
If all of life were but one week / And our love a single day …
Our love was not a summer day
among Norway’s isles, fiords
and endless light that never dies
though the sun has gone.
Our love was not a winter day,
cozy and warm beside the fire.
Happily snowed in, happy with nothing
to do, no place to go, and no one we cared to see.
Our love was not a payday
despite the obvious rewards
after long patient waiting,
and incomprehensible withholdings.
Our love was not a national holiday.
Despite the noisy nocturnal celebrations,
the fireworks, the oft repeated pledges
and periodic declarations of independence.
Our love was like the first day of school.
We shivered like school children,
in anticipation of all we would soon discover,
smiling and proud of our shiny new things.
But no, our love was not
the first day of school
though there were hard lessons learned,
and many pencils broken.
Our love was this:
A fog-bound day in a sleepy seaport town,
with empty wharves waiting
for boats that never came
low foghorn moans of passing ships
we knew were there, but could never see.
The damp cold cut through every coat,
freezing our flesh as if naked.
The faint light, neither day nor night,
casting shadows we saw in the fog.
Shadows that were never
what we had imagined them to be.