I booked in, smiled at the girl
Behind the counter,
Blue eyes and blonde,
Wrote my name among the thousand others
That had strayed this way,
I knew none of them,
Not by their scrawl or their home town
Or the ‘helpful comments’
They had jotted down.
They passed through me as ghosts,
Unseen, accepted, one more
Shine upon the wooden stair
Worn thin by all those souls
That once trod heavy there.
Like a Bedouin tent on shifting, cooling sands,
The hotel split and groaned,
Gave way to each untethered step
As a lover does to those with whom she’s slept,
All practiced grace and polished age,
Familiar with each passing phase,
Yet each move heard anew each time
To become a part of times entwined.
My thanks received as if gifted
On Christmas Eve,
Blonde hair, blue eyes gave me my key,
Offered me a drink, company,
Said in whispers how she would like to
Spend the night with me,
Or maybe just pointed the way and said,
‘Goodnight. Sleep well. You call the desk
If you find the depth of loneliness
In which you travel
To be too much.
We’ll send someone right up.’
I smiled, picked up my bags and took the stairs,
Forever marked as a man who once walked there.
© Copyright 2016 Chris Bradbury. All rights reserved.
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