Treasure Island

David Lewis Paget

(22.11.1944 / Nottingham, England/live in Australia)


‘There were icicles hung from the window-sill
At dawn, when I thought to peep,
And the snow’s built up to the top of the door,
It must be six feet deep.’
Diane was shivering under her gown
When she crawled back into bed,
‘You’d better go out and fix it, Phil, ’
‘Too late for that, ’ I said.

I’d peered on out of the window and
The sun was shining bright,
The birds were twittering in the trees
Awake in the early light,
There wasn’t a sign of ice or snow
At the door, or window-sill,
I went to check on Diane, because
I thought that she must be ill.

She lay, still shivering in the bed
I thought that she had the ague,
‘The ice is deep in your soul, ’ I said,
But her eyes were cold and vague,
‘The ice is there on the window ledge
And the snow is piled at the door,
Go out and clear it away for me
Before it spreads to the floor.’

I stopped to look at the mantelpiece
At the picture of our son,
She’d cut him off with never a word
For some trivial thing he’d done,
We hadn’t seen him for seven years
And he never phoned or called,
She’d not shed even a single tear
And for that, I was appalled.

‘The cold is eating my very bones
I can feel it creeping in, ’
She seemed so suddenly old and grey
(There are several types of sin) .
‘Will you not go out and shovel the snow
For the wife that you used to love? ’
‘I would if the snow was at the door,
But the sun is bright above.’

‘You haven’t loved me for years, ’ she said,
‘You never do what I want! ’
‘Love is a two-way street, ’ I said,
‘Not a one-way covenant.
Before we take, then we have to give
So the feeling is returned,
But you’ve locked yourself in your tiny soul
And you’ve left me feeling spurned.’

‘I give you what you deserve, ’ she said
‘Since you let our daughter go,
You let her marry beneath her,
As I said, ‘I told you so! ’
‘You made our daughter unhappy, by
Rejecting the one she loved,
You wouldn’t go to the wedding, so
She said that she’d had enough! ’

‘The ice has formed on the ceiling now,
Why can’t you feel the cold? ’
‘The ice and snow that you’re seeing is
The ice cave of your soul.’
‘I’ve hated you for many a year, ’
She spat, and she said it twice,
‘That’s sad, for I’ve always loved you, ’
I began, but her eyes were ice.

Submitted: Thursday, August 29, 2013
Edited: Friday, August 30, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

30 August 2013

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