Solitude used to be so special
till you came between us.
I think of you when I'm with her
and she knows that I do.
And it's not the same any more.
Nor can it ever be.
28 May 1989
My wife’s in America again. So it’s just me and the bird for the next three weeks. And he’s not much company. The first week’s fine. I don’t mind the first week so much. The second sometimes drags but by the third I’ve usually had enough. I’ve always taken it for granted that most writers prefer their own company—this has certainly been true of me my whole life—and although I’m sure I’d cope better than most if I was left alone I’m not sure I’d cope as well as I would’ve done when I was a kid. People really annoyed me when I was a kid and all I wanted to be was on my own. You could get stuff done on your own. The real problem was when I got married. I got used to being a part of a couple and I could never quite get the old me back. Which is what this poem’s about. You can’t go back to being single again. You’re not single; you’re divorced or bereaved. I’ll never be single again. And a part of me’s fine with that. A big part. Most of me. But there’s this wee niggly bit…