And there you were, elegant and engaging, though not
with the people around you, more with the air of the room,
an intimacy between you that I sensed as I watched
you, smiling though not speaking, infused
with the calm of a glassy lake
in your brown-worsted suit, black patent-leather heels.
I knew that you were dead. You did not seem to notice
I was there in the room, nor that I was an absence to you,
standing there in your stately warmth that never did require
anyone to be watching.
The mudflats are knotted
with black snails this morning—
Periwinkles, you would have chimed.
I rose with you most days back then
hours before the family woke,
you with yellow pail in hand
swinging like a metronome—
Sad is how I feel this summer,
you, four months gone—
that keeps changing
like the honeyed-water
passed from bee to bee
honey sac to honey sac,
less water each time
until the honey, pure
sits in the combs of the hive.
Photo by Iain Farrell