Week 266: The Price, by Stuart Henson

Back to modern times: Stuart Henson has published several books of well-received poetry and has a site at http://www.stuarthenson.co.uk/ I think this poem exemplifies his lucid, evocative style.

The Price

Sometimes it catches when the fumes rise up
among the throbbing lights of cars, or as
you look away to dodge eye-contact with
your own reflection in the carriage-glass;
or in a waiting-room a face reminds you
that the colour supplements have lied
and some have pleasure and some pay the price.

Then all the small securities you built
about your house, your desk, your calendar
are blown like straws; and momentarily,
as if a scent of ivy or the earth
had opened up a childhood door, you pause,
to take the measure of what might have been
against the kind of life you settled for.

Stuart Henson


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