Stephen Robertson

Slanting Lines

Two threads

In far-off times, my best-beloved,

when we were young and all,

the woven patterns traced and covered

the world with skeins of wool.

And as we lived and loved and gained

and learnt and gave and lost,

we let each thread unroll behind,

laying down the past—

until the day, just nine months gone,

when both lines crossed an edge,

and two seemed to twist into one,

right there, beneath the bridge.


If we could trace them in reverse,

each our own tangled thread,

would we have found some common course,

or bend or hitch or bead?

Some earlier occasion when

our life-lines must have crossed,

some passing chance of might-have-been,

a different stitch to cast?

No, I’m glad we did not meet

before the alotted time:

that we could reach this perfect knot

and find ourselves at home.