Monday, 5 May 2014

Memories through Windows

Then it becomes mere memory
Even the glance back over your shoulder
As you leave
Seems more real,
& the net
Of umpteen million pixels on the screen
Cannot be fine enough to capture
That moment.

When did it become memory?
Mind woven
By the brain & body loom?
When did the chemical strings
Their fields of force
Diagrammed in image & emotion
Blend their essences
Upon your senses for this?

Moment upon moment
Tipping, tipping, falling, walking
Like shale sheets
Up the cliff face;
Like waves, now gone, now come back;
You lack nothing
But your backward glances
Are remembrance.

It was a bittersweet pain
To look back
Over your shoulder
Through the rainy car window
At the receding stones,
The tree,
The wall around the pond,
The village houses & the lane
Knowing that you might never return.

Every time, usually a Sunday
You did it
Breathed it;
“Goodbye,”
“I love you.”
Then on the day that it was true,
The last day of all,
You looked back as ever, but life was kind;
You did not know that it was true.

Today you glance up at a wooded ridge
That looks over the sea to the east
& you feel the same love & longing
But now you understand
The pain of parting
Is greater than the pain of never returning;
& this hiraeth, this heart pulse
Is more than memory,
Wilder & deeper, stronger & stranger.

It is your heritage,
It is your destiny
& the circle is complete
‘twas never open to be closed
Closed to be opened
Because it has no end
Nor beginning
Just
A sense,
A sensation
In skin, bone, nerve, gut
In muscles at work on the hill;
Not a last, backward glance
But the first
Of a million glances
& no more memories through window glass.

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