I Wasn’t There

by Michael Swan

I wasn’t there.
It was certainly someone else
who looked like me.

The women crying –
I had nothing to do with that.

You mention a child
plagued by sad memories.
I repeat
I was not there.

Photographic evidence
is not admissible.

People took so much trouble
and all their efforts went for nothing?
I am sorry
but at the time
I was in Interlaken
or possibly Reykjavik
engaged on another matter.

My signature on the documents
is a forgery.

Disappointment,
a sense of being let down,
of not being loved,
of being lied to?
Yes,
such feelings
are indeed distressing
and my sympathy goes out
to those concerned.

My diaries for that period
show clearly
that I was elsewhere.