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The Guest

I'm listening for your footfall up the hill,
The road is quiet,
The house is empty but for me
And I've uncorked the bottle of festivity,
Impatient, tired and lonely.
Blame me love, but it's my only company.
I drink to absent friends.

There is a candle in the window for your guide,
Wavering, delicate and friendly.
I'm sorry I can't meet you at the door,
Too drunk again.
I may not even hear your knock,
Lost in my own nightmares.
I wish that you'd come sooner,
Shared this time,
And kissed me
When I didn't reek of wine.

© Morag Emmerson, 1974.
First published in Aquarius (10) 1978.
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