All I can do for you is dream …
I know you’ll be awake now.
You’ll be out in the garden shed
as far away as you can get
from the house and its damp wreaths,
its stink of grief and lilies.
You’ll be sitting amongst
plant pots, pegs and windfall apples
Here the street is sleeping.
I skulk around the kitchen
in the dull fridge light, avert my eyes
and tiptoe past the pink Sloe gin.
I could drink now.
I could drink for me, for you,
for the whole of the island.
I could drink for remembrance,
knock back a teacup for all the dead souls
searching for that bright crack back into life.
I could drink now but it’s 4am
and I’ve got an empty bed to fill
and dreams to dream for both of us.
Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
And last year’s leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year’s bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide!
There are a hundred places where I fear
To go,–so with his memory they brim!
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his foot or shone his face
I say, “There is no memory of him here!”
And so stand stricken, so remembering him!
– Edna St Vincent Millay
“Someone I loved gave me
a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.”
– Mary Oliver, “The Uses of Sorrow”