Title: Dark Days


In: Sport 31: Spring 2003

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, November 2003

Part of: Sport

Keywords: Verse Literature

Conditions of use



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Sport 31: Spring 2003

Dark Days

page 98

Dark Days

Our spirits broke in those dark days.
Rain blinded the pre-dawn window,
a blizzard tore at the boards.
In the kitchen, the news stacked up,
a naked bulb swayed in the draft,
shadows threw themselves
against the walls. When we met
our eyes looked elsewhere.
You included the word
‘enigma’ in everything you said.

Laughter came from next door,
young lawyers and their ghostly
friends talked through the night.
When they raised their voices
the conversations grew clearer,
and you reported back banalities
of the judicial life. Once they
spoke of a man who got his eyes
cut out. Or was it his tongue?
Then, too, they were laughing.

page 99

The road twisted through hill country.
Everyone else had long since left.
Quiet at the wheel, I listened to jazz,
wondering what it might mean
to ‘hope against hope’.
The mechanic said our rusted car
was ‘all the lies we tell’.
The past is a rope we haul on,
or does it haul on us? Driving
unmapped roads, we churned the dust.

I was asleep, but still driving.
We had explored a cul-de-sac
which was also the house where,
years back, a friend had lived.
Then you started whistling
funeral music. We reached
the ruins, the broken dreams.
In a strip of pale sunlight,
between pillars, we were
spent ciphers, leaning together.