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On Leaving the House and Encountering Another Human Being

I'm sorry I dived into the bushes.

It's nothing personal, please understand.

You chanced to walk in my direction

and my nerves just got the upper hand.

I'm sorry I screamed when you came near me.

Don't take my angry shrieks to heart.

As the idiom goes, let's stay in touch -

and physically, six feet apart.

Apologies that you repulse me,

that I recoil when you come near.

In other times, we might have spoken,

shared a joke or had a beer,

or waltzed together along the pavement,

and perhaps we may yet still one day.

But until we've given further notice:

embrace the margins, keep away.

By Brian Bilston


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