David Lewis Paget
This is Where Reason Stops!
Giselle went down to the Supermart
For milk, and a loaf of bread,
‘Don’t be too long, ’ said her husband, Tom,
‘It looks like rain ahead.’
The sky was dark and the clouds were grey
And a breeze was gusting the trees,
As she walked a block to the corner shop
The road was covered in leaves.
She tarried a while at the Mercers,
Checked the price on a bolt of silk,
Picked up a colourful tie-dyed scarf
Before collecting the milk.
She noticed the aisles were empty when
She got around to the bread,
The only girl at the checkout said:
‘It looks like a storm ahead.’
The thunder came rumbling over the shop
And the rain began to pour,
Giselle had nothing to keep her dry
So stood by the sliding door,
She read the messages on the board
For Sale, to give or swaps,
But one stood out like a weeping sore,
‘This is where reason stops! ’
‘This is where reason stops, ’ it said
In an ugly, spidery scrawl,
The damp had made the lettering run
And the ink dripped down the wall.
Guiselle had shivered and stepped aside
As she noticed the second line,
‘You’ll never be able to find your way
When caught in the tangle of time.’
The lightning flashed and it lit the store
But nobody else was there,
Not even the only checkout girl,
She’d gone, but heaven knew where.
Giselle dashed out to a clearing sky
Where the rain had ceased to pour,
She checked the time, was surprised to find
She’d been gone, two hours or more.
Tom would be more than mad, she thought
As she hurried along the way,
She’d never been able to keep good time,
For it seemed to slip away.
She never had kept her appointments
And Tom had been known to yell:
‘You’d keep the Devil himself in thrall
If you went to Hell, Giselle! ’
The sun was dipping beneath the earth
And leaving a twilight glow,
She noticed that all the leaves had gone
That were there, a while ago,
There were fences now she’d never seen
And some gardens overgrown,
And on the block where her house had been
She was stood there, all alone.
There wasn’t a house, there wasn’t a brick,
Just bushes and bundles of weeds,
And trees, she turned for a second look,
She’d planted them all from seeds.
She thought that she must have lost her way
And ran to the corner to check,
The sign, as always, said ‘Shepherds Lane’
And a chill ran down from her neck.
She knocked on the screen of the house next door
And her neighbour, Ted, came out,
He cried, ‘Good God! You must be a ghost, ’
And called his wife with a shout.
‘Where is my husband Tom, ’ she said,
‘And where is my lovely home? ’
‘Your Tom’s been dead for a dozen years
Since you left him here on his own! ’
‘The house burnt down and they cleared the block
When they found him dead inside,
It was just a year since you took off
And he said that his heart had died.’
‘But I’ve only been two hours, ’ she said,
‘I’ve just come back from the shops;
I should have known there was something wrong,
This is where reason stops! ’
8 April 2014
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