We first saw them in Taormina
on the railings of the piazza
overlooking the Bay of Naxos;
then on the railings at the Albert Dock
behind the Tate opposite Birkenhead;
and on the steps by the old County Hall
from the Embankment up to Waterloo Bridge.
They are usually small padlocks, some
combination although most are keyed,
the sort used for suitcases or garden sheds,
some with names or initials but most seem
anonymous – though perhaps the weathers
have made them so – some obviously purchased
for the occasion, others found in a drawer.
Does one of them keep the key – or is there
a duplicate so each could unlock
eternity? Maybe they throw the keys
into the air. Environmentalists
and authorities are justly concerned.
There were bridges in Paris imperilled
by the weight! Perhaps, if we were young again,
we would – yet we were never ones to
score our names on wood or stone. Love is private.
Who would have thought that there were so many
narcissists! The lovely lock of hair kept
in a locket has been forsaken.
So, let hard won gold and diamond tell
locked on our ring fingers.