Surreptitious

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Friendship slips
out the window
when lovers shout
and part.

It may ring the doorbell
later,
when neither hurts
not wants
nor waits.

– – – – – –

Rachel McAlpine

Shoulder

lights

He’s a shoulder.
Should this, should that,
should her.
Cold shoulder.
That showed her.

He should should should
offer a shoulder
and murmur
‘How do you feel?’

*

Rachel McAlpine

Bliss

cliff

One night I shall despise him but this night
he is the great white tame hawk
perched beating at my teeth.

He is the scimitar I carry trembling
down the cliff of my sleep.

One day I shall be ashamed.
I shall speak.

*

Rachel McAlpine

(Title is same as the title of a short story by Katherine Mansfield that inspired this poem.)