The Red Trees
In a drawer I found an old birthday card. The first
You sent me, speaking of your love. And an old map,
Which we had used to trace the paths between
The fields we walked together to the Plain.
I couldn’t throw these on last summer’s fire.
I went outside and was surprised by the red trees.
I remember you said, “Time heals. Time
Will put things in perspective.” The soothing
clichés hang unhelpfully as a door closes.
I remember your profile as the train rolls
And perspectival, healing, time passes,
A hum on the seamless rails. Out of
The window, a horse canters across a field.
I remember once turning a corner to find
You coming towards me. I remember
How the whole world became brighter
And how the breath I caught at that
Moment was all I seemed to need,
And that I need breathe no more.
When you were close I remembered
Your scent: warm rain on a dusty summer day.
I pass a field in which a tractor labours.
Hay has been cut to the green stems.
My friends couldn’t help me. I accept that.
So I have left them, and everything I knew,
Unwontedly. Across the field an unknown hill rises.
I thought I heard noises once, in your room,
The room that held your dresses. Frightened,
I went to look. There was nobody there.
And why you would haunt me, anyway?