For a lost friend

Protocols

by Vikram Seth

What can I say to you? How can I now retract

All that fool, my voice, has spoken –

Now that the facts are plain, the placid surface cracked,

The protocols of friendship broken?

 

I cannot walk by day as now I walk by dawn

Past the still house where you lie sleeping.

May the sun burn away these footprints on the lawn

And hold you in its warmth and keeping.

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