All these years I’ve waited like a gift for you
But it’s too late now you’ll never come
So I’ll drink alone in the Cruiscín Lán
My window keeled in the July rain.
That carillon I hear is not the music of bells
But the sound of a blade delicately folded over
And beaten until every breath of impurity is expelled
And only the ringing integrity of hardness remains.
Yet when the door taps gently in the breeze
I’ll look up hoping in vain to see your face,
Remembering our perfected antinomies
And the gorgeous mistakes we gladly made.
Now Death waits patiently for our dumb compliance,
Kilning a smooth brown jar for our ashes;
But we’re not like those who would soon go quietly,
We’ll take our shelter in the eye of the burning sun.
How good and many are the days of your life,
though they seem the same they never are;
and though you have never been less than two steps
beyond yourself, unable to fix your grip on the passing world,
your heart must surely break when you remember home
and the once heard cry of a corncrake as you clamber down
the grassy dunes to the sea, a stray thorn scraping your anorak,
its stylus whispering galled histories to the tide below.
There, in the remembered light of irrevocable promises
you will dream of ceremonies, the priest who married you,
his solemn ghost swaying at the front of the church;
and you will summon the memory of irresistible gravities
when you were the earth and she was the moon and the sea:
she who would drink the infinite tide and drown the sun;
and she whose steadfast love you could not spurn.
Copyright © John Murphy 2012