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The outstanding question

I have watched from a distance, kept my

Council and made time my friend. An error

On my part I fear, but not one I was aware of

At the time. Only later did I realise that time

Was not a friend at all or anything like one

Time, it transpired, was my enemy, in fact the

Cruelest enemy a man could have. Time does

Not rest, nor does it take kindly to those who

Misuse it. Silently advancing, unseen, unheard,

Wrenching you from me with every second of

The clock. Whilst still outstanding, the question

I have been too afraid, too uncertain, to ask


Wrongly, I gave time its head, believing time

Would help me win fair lady, but that is not what

Happened. What happened was that time traded

Opportunity for idleness and self-deception, the

Same illusion relied upon by so many too weak

Too scared to face up to time and do with it as

One might a valuable currency – spend it wisely

Whilst still outstanding, the question I have been

Too afraid, too uncertain, to ask


By my bedside, a faded photograph, so often

Handled its corners creased and cracked, its

Clarity wanting. Proof, if proof was needed, of

A love and of a longing that fell foul of time but

Now finally refuses to succumb to the vulgarity

Of time. Time that would seize my joy for itself

Leaving behind a faded memory of a love that

Once was, but not so to the eye that can see

Beyond time to the heart-stopping smile of the

Most beautiful woman I have ever encountered

Whilst still outstanding, the question I have

Been too afraid, to uncertain, to ask


Yes, I have been too slow to act, too quick to let

Time act on my behalf and now I see that I have

Lost time, frittered it away to no purpose, but that

Foolishness is at an end for I now see that had I

Been a braver man, had I followed my instincts

I would not be where I am today. Still hoping, still

Wishing, still lost for an answer and so finally, the

Outstanding question, the question I have been

Too afraid, too uncertain, to ask:


Will you marry me?

© Joseph G Dawson
14/03/2018 – 10/05/2017


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