Second Chance, by Chris Renshaw

Chris Renshaw is a very active member of the Kent and Sussex Poetry Society’s committee. This poem was selected by our judge Tamar Yoseloff, for inclusion in the Folio #72 in 2018.

Second Chance

Suppose, then, knowing what you know,
you could leap back to the arms
of the first boy who loved you,
the boy with brown eyes, smiling for your photograph
in Wellington boots, camouflage jacket
and a prize carp heavy in his hands -
start again with
the boy your mother wanted you to marry,
who laughed a lot, whose kisses
were never quite exciting enough;

would you settle, now,
for the house by the river,
paddle with your children
in the soft brown shallows?

He might have stood back, then,
the dambreaker, homebuster,
seeing no way in,
turned his attention to wilder chases,
further along the stream.

Or would you again lose hold, let go
of the safe hands, slip downriver,
ride the fast current, end up again
as a homebreaker, hellraiser,
second time round? 

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