John McIntosh

Our Broken Song


Love came down and lit
The room at parents’ night.
The way the girl discreetly
Leaned across and laid
Her hand upon her dad’s
To still his Parkinson’s.
He gripped it and grew roots
Into a ground that braced
And held him and belonged.
From fluttering like a ragged
Pennant he swelled taut
And caught and held the wind.

Her unselfconscious tenderness
Reminds us what love often is:
A sudden glimpsing of
The secret wounds beneath
These hides of camouflage
And competence and bluff;
A recognition of the
Common blood that beats
In all our veins and ears.

And when this happens rivers
Burst their banks and we
All grin and shake our heads
At this bright revelation
Of our monkey natures’
Shared essential core.
This is the midwife of love.

Like when you lose a child
At sunset on some beach,
And run around in panic
Avoiding the sea’s gaze,
Then turn around to find her
Nonchalantly waiting
By the car and asking
‘What’s for tea tonight?’
And ‘When can we go home’?

That drive through quiet darkness
With your world so nearly wrong
Was never hung with quite
Such lucent stars, and never rang
With such a beautifully broken human song.

Copyright © John McIntosh 2015

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About sunnydunny

Poet, publisher, gardener
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