I’m sorry. I never really knew you. Now 

it’s too late, after all those years. The children 

we produced have gone their way, rarely 

looking over their shoulder. This sadness 

is a large stone inside me; it is as if 

I am becoming stone. There is difficulty 

moving, eating, drinking, sleeping. 

These acts belong to yesteryear – like you. 

Can I please say, even though you do not hear, 

that I relished your performance. You were 

a star. No other man sat in the concert hall 

but me, and I too often eyed the décor, 

the architecture. Yet you were always 

there for me, and I am grateful. 

My pain comes from not fully expressing 

my gratitude while I could. You are 

enviably beyond discomfort now. I live 

this moment for both of us, glad you no longer 

suffer, remembering how it was and cannot 

be again. I recall the colours 

before the world became monochrome. 

uncollected, © Paul Groves 2023, used by permission of the author

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