In your absence snow has drifted into the woods
where we might have camped,
only I don’t see you in a tent in the snow.
I saw you last night in some strangers’ house
miles from any campsite, bound
by feral cats, hell bent on their ferocity.
All love is change. You tell me to love another,
but I’m stubborn, refusing to give you up.
You’re sure we will meet again, at least once
more, before dying. Your words bring tears
to my eyes, I’ve little strength
without you, no sense of carrying on alone.
Let’s go to that campsite now, see the dome tent
pitched in the snow. Let’s walk
in each other’s footprints through the deep drifts
where no government could bother our secret lay.
In your absence snow has drifted
all over the Pennine hills, all over old England.