Martin Robertson

Now and Then

[My grandchildren are stamping the ice-puddles]

My grandchildren are stamping the ice-puddles,

dirty and sometimes deep.  Fountains of muddy

water are splashing.  Their mother, I’m afraid

won’t be amused.  But a good time’s being had.

I walk apart in our own good other time,

you beside me.  And for a moment I’m

sure of your actual presence, and the peace

floods me that’s always in that happiness.

Longing’s back at once with a quick pang.

But the constant consciousness that we belong,

our love, keeps happiness living in pain’s teeth.

…  But only the real presence brings us that peace.