Or rather, we have a friend coming over this afternoon, and so the boys are cleaning, and I am cleaning, and we are all getting distracted by the things we are supposed to be putting away. I’m straightening my bedside table, and finding books of poetry that should be leafed through if only for a moment after I’ve dusted them, before stacking them neatly again to read later.
One book just fell open to this poem, and it’s so lovely, I must share it.
PLEASE COME LATE
by Hugo Williams
Please come late,
so that I’ve almost given you up
and have started glancing round the room,
thinking everyone is you.
Please don’t come
until I have started missing you,
thinking I will never see you again,
praying you are lost.
Come too late for me not to notice.
Make me suffer,
wondering what you are doing
on the other side of town,
still in your dressing gown,
Make me beg for mercy
when you pick up a magazine.
Are you looking in your mirror,
suddenly remembering me?
I’m on my second coffee by now,
eating the little bits of sugar in my cup.
Haven’t you even set out yet?
I decide I don’t want to see you after all.
I don’t really like you.
I’d rather be on my own.
I know it is all over between us,
but I go on sitting here,
reading a newspaper,
not understanding a word.
If you came in now, I wouldn’t recognize you.
Don’t come anywhere near me
until I have gone slightly mad for love of you.
From this book of poetry selected by Billy Collins
photo from here