10 March 2013

The longer spearhead of light

                      by Stephen Romer

One Year

One year on, the shawl is wrapped
soft round my shoulders and you everywhere
no messages since not a one

the vigil the watch and pray I knew not
watch and pray but that night I did
watch and pray for all I could

except you rose to meet my every move
in the looking glass only the fire
saved me from freezing at every move

where you rose to meet me
in the mirror and when I moved my
every move was a wading through time

the red shawl round my shoulders when
I was terrified to take it off again
and fall forever into the ungraspable

without a hand-hold climbed the stairs
the comfort blankiet my shroud
and you not leaving the night light.

Then you cleared your throat
at the the end of the passage
this is and is not, you.


Not, you shall not leave us comfortless
as comfort might be
sprays of forsythia over stone

and brisk steps on stone flags
going early through the porch
a trim little body

wrapped against the killing wind
as comfort might be
the longer spearhead of light

along the milled flags
at the opening of the door
as comfort might be

withdrawal and ingathering
a warmth among the ashes
at the start of Lent.

TLS March 1, 2013.

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