Words by Stuart Crowther
I wondered what happened after you were mine.
But no. Not mine.
Not as shrewd as belonging, not as finite as possession -
rather I borrowed you for a while,
but less like the replacement for some faulty appliance,
more like a treasured acquisition - a tome,
housed in a library somewhere I'll never visit but might think of
on some idle morning as the kettle boils and letters drop forlornly to the mat
And I catch myself... sometimes... I'm thinking on a rainy weekend or a
broken Tuesday which seems fit for little else -
wondering where you are and who's borrowed you now.
Who's inhaling the scent of your pages and adding a sentence or two,
in a cursive script, much neater than mine.
I remember the shape of you, sketch the illustration, but blur the edges.
Imagine a technicolor version where there was really only a limited pallet
as limited as my own at the time.
But we painted each other in primary tones, stuck to the lines,
caring nothing for the shades and the scribbles that would follow with time
and with age.
I kept you intact for a while, painstakingly guarding your covers
then passed you on a good sport
to someone else who could decipher your wisdom,
a specialist in text I couldn't read anymore.
After you were mine, I wondered who you'd lent yourself to
and hoped his hands were clean.