I look at your picture
And am transported back
To the time of misty afternoons,
Serene waters lapping gently
Around our little ramshackle boat.
I remember how your eyes twinkled
With the joy of rowing on your own.
Emotions chased each other
Across the charismatic face,
And not least of them
Was the vague surprise you felt
As if it was wrong to derive pleasure
From so simple a thing.
I look at you smiling
A smile so perfect, and frozen in time;
A fragment of eternity
Stolen from infinity,
And ours alone to cherish.
I am reassured because I know,
Whatever else I stand to lose,
None can ever hope to snatch away
Those precious moments in time.
I remember a wet and muddy afternoon,
And the warmth of a voice that caressed.
Outside, the sky wept buckets
For the lot of man, who must face loss.
Victims of such a plight, you and I,
Yet forgot all for a day.
Safe from the world outside
Inside the cocoon of a cottage,
Enthralled by the magic of your voice,
In the strains of your music
Differences and defenses fell away.
I look at your eyes and wonder,
Do I see, mirrored in them,
My own perplexity and bewilderment,
My disappointments and insecurities,
The sense of loss I feel,
For something I never had?
Does that voice ever cry out in anguish
At a destiny that seems unfair
In tempting you with a taste
Of something that is destined never to be yours?
Do you ever think thoughts
That never lived to see the light of day,
And committed suicide before they passed your lips?
Have you ever lived to regret
The passing of a moment,
Of an opportunity thrown away,
Scattered to the winds?
I remember a Sunday afternoon
Of sweet fellowship and easy talk,
Punctuated by fizzy drinks and good food.
A time when your faith gave back life
To these frustrated and helpless fingers.
I travel back in time
To a lake mellowed and serene.
I remember saying :
Memories are like the mist –
All around you, enveloping you;
And when you try to hold them,
They slip through your fingers,
Satisfied to linger
In the periphery of your consciousness
Like an old tune you carry ; an intangible presence
Hidden deep in the recesses of the heart.
I look at your picture,
And remember so much more,
And the taste of you is bittersweet;
For my heart will not find it easy
To accept what my head decrees:
That it is better to have a fragment
To look back and dwell upon
Than to have nothing at all;
Not to press questions that have no answers,
Not to sing songs that have no tune,
Nor to have faith in something that is not.
I remember, thinking wearily:
We are worlds apart – you and I.
And I despaired, for my vision
Extended only to the superficialities.
I remember waving off a taxicab,
Forlorn, alone as never before,
Left alone with the ironies of my life,
Feeling like the last person in an evacuated world,
Wishing I could create a world for us
Where we would merge in defiant harmony.
I gaze at your picture,
And I am glad
For this frozen moment in time;
I am glad that the rainbow has many hues,
That the day has light and darkness,
For the piano’s ebony and ivory,
For the pied beauty of the sky,
For the variegated colors of the earth,
And the multicolored beauty of your shawl;
Each flows into the other gracefully,
Merging, entwined, complementing and uniting
Each providing a foil
To highlight the other’s beauty
Providing a finer tapestry
Of richer, many-hued, interesting detail,
Surely a mirror-work reflecting
The greater plan of the Creator’s artistry,
Where you and I are not castigated
For a mere difference in name,
But provide unique pieces that contribute
To the beautiful final picture
Of the divine masterpiece.