everybody leaves

Linda Menzies

My grandma’s stroke took her,

A lopsided smile my final blessing.

My father left, his angry case half-closed,

Car revving, then a faint squeal of tyres.

Two of my babies went: tiny, thumb-nail sized –

they couldn’t stay long enough to grow.

Lovers have left, they came and went,

Turned away by me, or wanted to leave.

I’ve left too, closed the garden gate,

Terrified, unburdened, newly burdened.

My mistake was to think that as we were

good friends, passionate lovers:

you might be the someone who stays.