4 men loved; all who’ve left 

Each man has left her in a different way, but each 

man indeed has left her.

The first man was just a boy of 8, when she’d

been just a girl who’d slipped out

of 7, and she’d

fallen so deeply in life with this

friend, she’d never imagined their parting

could ever 

have become a searing of loss at such

awful cost.

The 2nd was the husband she married at

26, and his 

30 years belied so furious his rank inability to 

make of wedding-night

what wedding-

night should 

instead have been able to 


up, and over and out, and in

this din of love 



he refused her.

And although they were still – even today – much as if

their marriage was tough

and even still a thing, in truth no

fruit was ever picked 

nor drunk since the first time and moment he ejected

her being.

And the 3rd man who left her bereft and sad was a

glorious man of wonderful

intellect, who opened up proud a mind

of such love, 

and yet somehow – even here, as she hit 44 – 

her frightening life conspired and plotted

to pull them apart, as lovers

torn shearingly: no hearts remaining 


nor whole, 

nor repeated,

nor treated as thrive.

No soul remaining neat, 

nor complete at all:

just the uneven thrall of

opportunity so 

briefly kissed.

And then it became the turn of the 3rd’s own

son: the final man of this litany of


And so she did equally love

these 4 men in her life:

and so they all 4 did 

leave her that 


And so now she’s sad alone, 

as this solo as can be,

finally without



without any sanctuary

it becomes her once more

to saddle up 

that oft



hoarse of love’s hope,

shouted to 

all winds:

the 4 of this world, and her

life so mistreated:

and inevitable,

and disreputable,

and the numbers and the stats.

And that is almost all

she can state in this


she loved a dear young man when only he was 8;

she loved another equally when he knocked the door of 30;

she loved a 3rd as much as the 1st 

2 who’d come along, 

exactly just when his mighty

chronology counted 

a fabulous 

handsome 47.

And ultimately, the one she

thought – 

for brief 

time – to be the final 


kindly act

of a universe which till such a date had felt so cold, 

had felt so

utter factual – in fact

a universe 

of a matter of fucked! 

did actually lead to the baddest bad of all:

and as she fell in love with

a man of 26,

a beautiful man of astonishing grace, he ended up – this 

much was now 

clear – as simply

the 4th in a common enough list 

of loves 

so cruel and

quite hurtful and

quite magical and

similarly painful, 

it was true;

and tiresome

and dry-


that even her optimism 

now does begin to wade,

like the 

stinking woman she accepts she must be –

in that sinking Irish bog of tears

she now

surely must occupy 

for the 





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