In retrospect

In retrospect

What was there to love
           but the light that danced
in her eyes : starlight
           and through her words
the music of her mind
           the love that flowed
through her voice
           the joy it exuded

The vibrant love in her
           the song sounded
in her heart : the quickstep
           and the foxtrot
that we two tangoed
           Now tears from the tongue
new art and old hurt
           slack bow of the violin
that my father played
           in days of sadness : the grace
from having known her
           the pursed once-kissed lips
stretched on a canvas
           that the eyes haunt
dark pupils that once embodied
           the affirmative

I press strings
           to the fingerboard
but grasp only those airs
           that emanate
from the mournful outer stars
           Overnight my world
withered to mute music
           mute wisdom
and no second paradise
           Turn again I say
to recapture the imprint
           my mirror still bears
of a time when desire
           was free and our love
prospered honourably
           and grief was unknown

John Lyons


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