I’ve squeezed the lemon – tart fruit that I inherited,
And keynote of the life that I have led.
I’ve tasted deep, albeit in unduly cautious sips;
Swallowed, with little complaint, its pith and pips.
But now the juice is nearly all expressed
I must press harder to extract what’s left.
I watch a pretty sunset with an unheld hand,
Play songs that once resided in a loving land,
And, indulging the insistent memories, let them dwell
In the darkness, while the stars patrol outside my night-time cell.
I squeeze the acid, press it in the wound again – again!
And savour what little life remains to find within the pain.
|The central, shifting simile came to me one evening. (I’d started reading Yeats.) Then fragments of lines came, and insisted on the rhyme. And, with that simple rhyme, I only had to wait two more nights for the words to assemble themselves. It’s not often that easy!|