Friday, 14 September 2018

Anticipating Finality

Each day, Ann posts a new poem on "No Coward Soul is Mine", her poetry site on WordPress. Each poem is deeply personal or introspective, usually reflecting the mournful reaction to a soul of unease. Many reflect the people closest to her - the strained relationships or deep injustice or betrayal.

She has a unique voice: beautifully crafted simple themes, minimally rhymed, punching home a message of truth. They invariably move me deeply: to tears, or to make the hairs on my neck bristle. If challenged for their source or meaning, she cheerfully proclaims "Why does everyone think my poetry is about them? It about everywoman or man!" Today's is:


He died
now it is as if he never lived,
never drew breath
or held another's hand,
he is gone
and given up to death
never more
will he taste the joy that was his home,
his garden now is but a field of weeds
all he held most dear has moved on,
the man he was is forgotten,
buried deep
now his life is lost
those he left will grieve
and then move on
It could be about the great loss suffered by all who grieve, or - with two cancers with potentially fatal endings - could it be interpreted as a life beyond my own? I will not ask. Ann would always reply, "Why must everything be about you?"

E. spent yesterday in Cambridge, removing the pain of memory by revisiting shared places. He phoned to say he would take dinner there, and be late back. Clearly there were a lot of memories for so brief a time together - let's hope they are assuaged.

Ann's cousin Allan is visiting, and over the weekend will come Ben, Lucy and their families. Last weekend it was Matthew, who wanted a picture of "me and dad". Is everyone mourning before I'm gone? Do they all share secrets unknown to me? To have a deep and hidden cancer is mentally wearing. I am tired and feel weak, and I don't know if it is physical or psychological. But I'm not on the death bed yet - I dread to think how they will behave with that finality in the air.