The Lovers

They are the same person at sunrise,

at noon they are Self and Self,

at midnight they hate each other –

doesn’t it exhaust them?


But who is it?


They live in that clapboard house

with pine shutters, there, on the ridge,

sometimes you can see her in a floral hat

trundling a wheelbarrow, or him


throwing a stick for the Airedale

who might prefer a ball or frisbee

and lifts one leg to piss.


Does it shock you they have grown old –

even the dog’s fastidiousness is gimpy,

a little somnolent?


Yet it seems the clouds that pass

over that valley are blanker,

steeper, more severe, towering,

shaped like animals, animals without eyes.


D Nurkse