Clair Chilvers

Clair Chilvers was a cancer scientist, and latterly worked for the UK National Health Service. She now divides her time between writing and running a mental health research charity that she co-founded 10 years ago. She lives in Gloucestershire, UK and has had poems published in on-line and print journals including Ink Sweat and Tears, Amaryllis, Atrium, Artemis and Sarasvati.

Restless nights

In the still darkness
when the church clock strikes three
when all the world sleeps
I dwell on the past, on sins of omission or worse,
before I understand
what the world thinks does not matter;
what I think is the divide
between remorse and repose.
Today I read the Letter of John,
words well known from the liturgy,
a way at last to face the past,
acknowledge wrongs done, hurt caused,
leave them like mists
wrapping round the autumn trees

The badger

I drive along the lane, not far from town,
to my house, where my lover will come,
one day, when he is ready.
The lane, unfamiliar,
I struggle a little to find the way
then come to houses
dark shadows set back.
In the middle of the road a badger
unmistakable in his grey striped coat
unhurried, crosses the lane,
pulls me up short from my reverie
of a future that hasn’t quite yet come.

On growing old

The years stretched before me
opportunities time-unbounded
hounded only by ambition.
Those first years watching children grow
from babies to young adults,
now middle-aged themselves.
Years experienced mindlessly,
recalled as fragments.
The years close in now
what once seemed infinite
now has a finite, yet unknown end
impenetrable to the naked soul;
still the impetus to finish what I start,
to see my grandsons grow, maybe to adulthood.

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