Over the years, Hugo Williams has written three separate poems bearing the same title: "Everyone Knows This." That phrase comes to mind when I think of the following poem by Stanley Cook, which moves in one direction, but takes a turn at the end.
Here in the North, often at the end
Of an uphill road the houses open out
To a view, like finding a hole in the roof.
Some attic or chimney pot is silhouetted
Marking the final foothold on the sky.
The wind combs out grey tugs of cloud
And as the threatened snow descends,
Blanking the view, sometimes you hear yourself
Resume for a word or two the conversation
That ended unhappily years ago
And whose unhappiness you know you had better bear.
Stanley Cook, Woods Beyond a Cornfield: Collected Poems (1995).
At one time, I thought that the conclusion of "View" seemed out of place given what comes before. But I now think that it makes perfect sense. Why? Because (to borrow from Hugo Williams) "everyone knows this." I cannot presume to speak for you, Gentle Reader, but I have had a few of these solitary, one-sided, unexpectedly resumed conversations. And, as a matter of fact, it is sometimes an unwonted, suddenly-opened view in an otherwise nondescript place on an otherwise nondescript day that calls them to life. (On the other hand, perhaps I am completely off base and "Everyone Does Not Know This." Which means that I should be worried about talking to myself as I wander the streets in search of views!)
As for the final line: "And whose unhappiness you know you had better bear." Well, that is another matter altogether, isn't it? Best left for another time.