Poem Written Fifty Years Ago

 


When we have done what we can,
we shall want to pipe our eyes and
knit it all together with the best of words,
knit the wounds in sombre rooms,
and watch the evening closing in.

And ready, I, to die with you,
I shall want to stand at a window
before the watering of the plants.
I shall want to watch the mouths that go by;
I shall learn to predict them all:
the opening and closing of lips,
the words that never make the leap.

Even now, the shadow makes me wonder:
what good to have known them all?
what good to have been a face?
what good to have been a memory,
a commemorated name in voices
that fall into deep pits where
the sun’s far end grows cold?

And ready, I, to die without you,
I shall want to stand at a window
before the drawing of the bolts.
And in the musty peace of darkening days,
I shall remember very little of it all,
except that I gave up asking what for,
and never threw a stone at heaven.

And as I stand at a window, then,
sipping from a shaking cup,
I shall want to watch them bustle by,
and I shall want to feel young again,
right down to my shuffling feet.

.

 

© Nemo 2020
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critique and comments welcome.
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Slovitt

Nemo: very well written. evocative of Larkin. almost think your natural way of communication is a poem such as this. your best way. good poem. Swep

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