Listen to a recording of this poem here.
No longer light, but not yet dark,
We stand here in some space between
And listen to a meadow lark;
Last year she sang so sweet and keen
For us, Christine.
Here amid the fading flowers,
We think of things that shall not be.
Christine, can you recall the hours
When I was you and you were me
Beside the sea?
Above our heads, the soul of day
Moves softly through the autumn skies;
The earth gives up its green to grey,
And there before our stinging eyes,
It stirs and dies.
The crow plays in the golden grass
And grieves not at his final flight;
He knows that all good things must pass,
That darkness always follows light.
It seems he’s right.
Christine, you fall away from me
On this dour late autumn day
As fiery leaves forsake the tree,
Like eager seeds that drift away
In search of May.
Your fervent mouth looks different now,
The tongue less sweet, the lips less keen,
But press its heat against my brow…
Those lips, I think, have never been
So cold, Christine.
And now that autumn chills our breath,
The light that lit your loving eyes
Fades fast towards a silent death,
And dies now as the season dies,
With subtle sighs.
Go not as one whose steps would sever;
Christine, no shred of sorrow show.
As if farewell were not for-ever,
Go forth like snowflakes, soft and slow,
Like lovers go.
Without the tears that you weep,
And with a smile avert your face,
As though you’ve turned aside to sleep
And soon will wake to claim your place
In my embrace.
Your leaving shall not be the last;
Where e’er you look, there I will be.
And like fond phantoms from the past,
The wild winds that sweep the sea
Bring you to me.
And spectres of our summer showers
Shall dance on in my memory,
The promises of perfect hours,
When I was you and you were me,
Beside the sea.
Read more of Kevin Roberts' work in New Lyre
Kevin Nicholas Roberts (1969-2008) was a poet, college English Professor, author, husband to Jan and father to his angel dog Buddy. Kevin had two books published in the United Kingdom: Fatal Women, a collection of poetry and Quest for the Beloved: Awaking Truth & Beauty through Mystical Poetry, a book of literary criticism and philosophical discussion. Kevin was the founder and first editor of the poetry journal, Romantics Quarterly.