Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 356

La Belle Vie Sans Merci

I listen to your La Belle Dame Sans Merci,
to the classroom antics of a Lanarkshire Grammar,
drilling in the canon. Only, you liked what you heard;
your clever-girl head engaging avidly
with Keats’ meaning - his poetics.

Now, you are 70 and adapting to
those inflictions on the body of living in time.
From the room of your own, you don’t need
the services of a drone to offer perspectives
on a changing life, you can see them for yourself.

You just want the feel of the auld life back,
but ye ken well this cannae be,
regaining what is truly lost. You will renew
auld acquaintances, if willing, and imagine
new ways of being in the spaces that remain.

William Hume

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