These Days

Andrew Motion

It might be any night
these days, when every night
is like nothing on earth.
Tired with drinking, we long

for your riotous children
to wear themselves out
and shamble off to their beds.
Make it be soon, my eyes say

rolling up to the ceiling –
a relished, leisurely roll
which tells you as well
I want you. Bowing low

so your forehead rests
on the rumpled tablecloth
just for a second, you pour
milk in a shallow dish

for the cat, as he slouches
in out of nowhere, his hollow
lap-lap-lapping an almost
welcome distraction to stop

me pining for you, his tongue
steadily clearing the milk
like a tiny fog, revealing
a woman crossing a blue bridge

setting out on a journey,
perhaps, or coming back,
her parasol raised in salute,
her blue cross-hatched hat

tipped to deflect the wind,
and her eyes distinctly narrowed
to blue expressionless flecks
by a sudden onrush of light.