It’s something they carry with them
– explorers night shifts seamen –
like a good pair of binoculars
or a camera case
perfectly and deeply compartmented.
It has a quiet patina
that both absorbs and reflects
like a valuable instrument
you have to sign for
– contract with alone –
and at the end of the voyage
you get to keep.
Sometimes it’s very far away.
Sometimes so close
at first you think the person next to you
is picking up putting down
a personal cup
a book in another language
before you realise what
– when talk has moved off
leaning its arms
on someone else’s table –
is being
handed to you.

from The Tibetan Cabinet (River Road Press, 2010), Caroline Caddy 2010, used by permission of the author and River Road Press

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