Taking Stock

Under such circumstances
as these in which we live –
an old skill of mine – of gauging

by tipping
chiming barrels in cellars
or more likely cold side rooms
of ex-forces drinking clubs
to blindly assess levels left

Under such circumstances
my senses should be well-attuned
to any watering of truth
in unsighted places

By eye and by hand – in
old weights and measures –
my work was to balance stock
and it was never greeted well

Enclosed – Sheet of Instructions

That parquet floor you laid –
you refused to keep to
Enclosed – Sheet of Instructions
It is now lifting and separating —

Your brushed-off mistakes –
of not taking time to bond – to glue –
to set – are now a dozen fault-lines
across our hall and living room —

You have posited tectonic plates
in each space – where you bent and knelt –
jagged shadows of slow shifts away —
Others’ prayers are with our marriage