May. 4th, 2009

Beloved

May. 4th, 2009 08:21 pm
susannah: (Default)
Beloved (after Rilke)

Maybe I'd lost you from the start,
Even when we found ourselves talking
Tentatively, at the friend's party
And the first evening was measured out
By hesitations and gentleness
And fireworks illuminating faces in the garden
But not the dark secrets
Of our own unknown, our undiscovered frailty.
Looking back, down the half-lit streets
Of the intervening years, I try to remember
Your openness like a word called hope,
Try to feel, once again, the touch
Of hand-in-hand, sharing the sunlight
On our faces in the cornfield -
We could not know the paths and
Winding ways we'd travel, never quite
Finding. Maybe I'd lost from the beginning,
Could never reach down far enough to
Keep you safe, wasn't the person
You almost dared to believe in, didn't
Love enough. And now, in a room that looks familiar,
But feels, in this dusk, more distant
Than all the oceans and all the galaxies,
Because you are not there,
I'm dazzled momentarily, by a memory:
Your smile as you lift our daughter -
Like an offering - towards blue heaven...
Then the dark enfolds. First stars peep out
And the train across the valley carries
Tired hearts to separate destinations.
If you had found me, love, if I
Had found you, perhaps, we would have known,
Have understood - that first evening -
That all the inbetween was insufficient,
All your efforts, all my efforts
And heart's longing as we fell away,
To bridge an abyss that is this love
Between us.
Perhaps one day, from distant places,
Faraway worlds, we'll see
The same fireworks illuminate the sky,
Gaze and wonder, know
That first throb and thrill, recall
Our true beginnings, reclaim
What we had lost before me met,
And all that beauty.

Susannah Clark

April 2017

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