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we contented
ourselves with life in half
measures, never once
committed to a course,
never for an instant
expected more.

oh how irresolutely
we dithered,
interminably,
just outside the door.
procrastinated,
lost those we loved
to others surer and
more definite.

they stepped up
brave and brash like
w.h. auden and
took
what they wanted
while we watched
in agonised indecision
from the wings;
and waved goodbye to
what could have been.

 

Reference is to Auden poem, ‘The Moment’, quoted in Visconti’s Conversation Piece.

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