Writing in emotion

I was moved by a post on Kirie’s blog .
She relates the experience of a writer who told so movingly about the death of his cat. This immediately brought to mind the death of Streaky (my 21-year-old cat) a few years back. He was a wonderful cat (see Streaky & Hedgehog) who engaged other cats to defend his territory, but was also the loudest cat I’ve met. Returning from the vet after the fateful injection, I had to stop the car: I was too emotional to drive.
However, the slow decline of my wife was more emotionally painful. We should have celebrated 30 years together. Instead I wrote this poem. I hope it expresses the love that binds despite pain.

But thirty years

For some it’s a long time
For some it’s a short time
It demands a celebration
but you can’t celebrate

We should drink a toast
to thirty years together
but you can’t drink

We should go out to a restaurant
to dine in style
but you can’t eat

We should say to each other
I love you with all my heart
but you can’t speak

The first day we met
thirty years ago today
you were beautiful
clothed in a dressing gown with a towel round your hair
your face and eyes beamed beauty in the ill-lit corridor
but I didn’t know you were naked underneath

I look into your face
blank, a challenging incomprehension

I try to read your face
between the furrows of scars
but in the gaps you do remember the good times
now so long ago

I try to read your eyes
but the sparkle once there
is no longer

The eyes change and tell me
you love me
but they also tell me the torture
that you live inside your body

A toast to thirty years
is burned
but engraved with love

October 2, 2008

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3 Responses to Writing in emotion

  1. This is a beautiful poem. Written from the heart. Thank you for the mention & good luck with your career

  2. Laura says:

    If love and pain can be expressed through words, beautiful words, this poem has reached the target, completely. Fortunately and unfortunately both love and pain cannot be totally expressed through words: there will be always something unexpressed which stays inside…for ever.

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