Parliament Square – Winston Churchill statue and Big Ben, photo (c) Wally Gobetz 2006. Unaltered under a Flickr Creative Commons license License language

I am here because of me.
It’s not a strong position from which
To be right about important things—
Such a long time to reach anyone,
Year after year before and behind.
I have not yet been forgotten, but
Visitors are increasingly few,
With most noise out here coming from me.

Solitude like this is not scheduled—
Having quiet time even daily
And being alone are not the same.
The distance between truths is too great
And, my truth being minority,
This seclusion is necessary.
I made my case and stood firm and lost,
So now I am alone.

History may not vindicate me.
A lonely fight is often just that,
If even that much. Could be nothing
But jabs punched at a fictitious foe.
Whether my stance is noble or not—
Can I know where the line separates
Righteous withdrawal from prolonged sulk?
The doubt splits the lonely into camps:
The hardy resolved and the broken.

The quiet has made me more vital,
For I did not break and do not
Suffer too greatly despite the vast void
That arose between me and the world.
I still await the chance to return,
Finding meanwhile joy in daily things
Straightforward and nonnegotiable,
As they may be all that’s left for me.

© Beth Henary Watson 2014