The Parting

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It rained.
It rained again.
And then it rained some more.
The wind came howling from the West.
Waves pounding at the shore.
Spring tides, the highest of the year
combined with non-stop gales
destroyed the pier and breakwater
like matchwood swept away,
and along with them my memories
of summer nights upon that beach.
We were what is known as sweet sixteen,
heads full of foolish dreams.
We held each other in the dark
and whispered silly things
like we would not be parted.
We didn’t even last through Spring.
I carved for you a Cupid’s heart
on that breakwater’s underbelly,
just to find when you were gone
I was only one of many.
I put blisters on my hands for you
when I did that breakwater carving,
oh how I cheered above the storm
as I watched the timbers parting.

Colin Armstrong

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