The day we bought the book
he was in that Glasgow pub
below street level with trestle tables
stained glass.  A tarnished 
place dusted by Glasgow taxis,
buses, the tread of Glasgow feet.
Discreet meeting 
where no harm could come.

Detail gone, a fleeting thing,
the ephemeral mind can't cast its
lots so far to where no harm should come from
what's gone, what's been and done.

And all that surfaces from those
days and some such thing:
a brown felt hat, an overcoat,
well-polished shoes, a signet ring
cornelian, and well-pressed trousers,
crisp shirt, steady tie, a grin, a promising
that no harm could come.

The dearth goes on, a leaking thing,
and days hard won from struggling
and his lack and his lack
he graced our days, those days 
when we all believed that to
one good human
no harm could come.
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