One Bottle – Six Glasses. – Lesley Quayle

One Bottle – Six Glasses.
This row seems more serious – we have decided not to forgive.
I’m down here with the expensive bottle I was saving

for Christmas.  You’re upstairs, in bed, restlessly asleep, a frown
in your dreams.  I pull the cork and pour myself a full glass,

red as an open heart.  Those things we said, we meant – when hurt
we strike out like snarling strangers then crumble into remorse.

It’s commonplace. This time – another glass of wine – we didn’t
make things right,  bumped away from each other, bruised, sad,

your eyes rejecting mine like an awkward stranger.  A refill.  My pain
rearranges itself into rage.  I scavenge your selfish bones, pick your

arguments bare.  Guilt settles on me like a bad debt.  Reach for the
bottle, fill up the glass.  There’s a chasm between us, the rift grows wider

by the hour but I am moulded in stone and hard and cold and slow.  Your
familiar, gentle face is set for war.  More wine. I’m drowning wounds

in wine.  It stings like brine. I want you to wake up.  I want to want to
wrap my arms around your familiar feel, your smell, your skin.  But

I don’t.  Here in the dark, alone seems necessary.
The destroyer in me is out, the last glass spilt.


First Published in The Interpreter’s House

Lesley Quayle is a widely published, prizewinning poet, living in deepest, darkest Dorset. She’s also a folk/blues singer and co-organiser of a music club, wife of one, mother of four and grandma of three (and a half.)

2 thoughts on “One Bottle – Six Glasses. – Lesley Quayle

  1. Oh, this is such a powerful poem. A situation we’ve all been in, wish we hadn’t but also wish we could express it so well.


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