The Gift

This is for a dear friend, written for her on her birthday.  Often the end of a relationship is a gift, even though it might not feel like it in the early days.


Today she got older. And the hands of time
Will move backwards tonight.  She will wait for the chime
From the clock on the wall on the church in the street
And she’ll celebrate life.  She will talk, laugh and eat.

There’s a gift in her home on the floor, by her chair
And the paper shines brightly. Who put the gift there?
The ribbon is loose, just a tug to untie
The paper’s not stuck. There is no need to try.

No scissors required, and nothing is sealed
It’s easy to open. The gift then revealed.
It is calling to her as time moves in both ways
One year on, one hour back, sunny winter-time days.

As she lifts it the emptiness tied in a bow
Is acute. As she opens the wrapping she’ll know
That inside there is nothing. So nothing to miss
All untied and unwrapped with such ease, and all this
Was the gift. That the ties were unfastened with ease
And the shiny bright paper fell open to tease
Her with nothing. Unwrapped there was nothing to see
She can throw it away. The gift is that she’s free.

That gift, by her chair, as the time plays with time
Is the best she will have. It’s content sublime.
Gone and free and no ties, and the paper undone
To show nothing. So now she can see winter sun.
Clocks go back, years move on, and the ribbons untied
On the last day of summer the present her guide.

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