Elisabeth Jennings
A company of friends

We were all friends that night and sitting round
A lateish dinner. Candles lit us and
Shyness disappeared. Some golden ground
Surely held us. We could understand
Love’s mishaps, teenage children and the sound
Of their troubles. Here,
Close to a river and a city where
Learning’s been current long, you could accept
Its implications. Last night we could share
The worth of art and promises well kept
Until that hour. Here was a world of care
And I think we all slept
Better for our words of joy and grief.
We ate, we drank, ideas seemed to come
So easily. Here was abundant life
And grace shone like a happy coming home.
We did not notice that the time was brief
As every candle flame.
We gave time back to one another as
We shook warm hands and called a clear Good Night.
Now it’s last night’s tomorrow and I pass
That feast like film before my eyes and light
My long room with that silver and that glass
And glory in the sight.

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