for the life of him

When she died, all became muted.
Things went underground, words floated
in vague lines on the surface,
then faded away without trace.
He somehow felt underwater.
Whatever people were saying, he heard,
but it had no impact. He smiled
at their condolences. He nodded,
when they said she had been a beacon of life,
a light in the dark, a wonderful wife.
He stood there, slender in his black suit,
the centre of attention as usual,
uttering thank you, but he could not feel.
Nothing reached through the clouded layer,
leaving empty sounds drifting across his heart.
He still was in the light,
but the shadows had started to work on him.
He tried to think of the other woman.
Both were taken, but for a long time,
in his unhappiness, they were anchored
to each other in constant support
throughout the up and down of currents.
Now he could hardly remember her face,
and he could not, for the life of him,
recall her love.

The great love, he said, he had for her
went under, went walk about.
Walls rose from all sides, clicked in,
leaving only a narrow path for escape.
He ran off with nothing but darkness
and the echo of his own steps.

As soon as the dead are buried
they call out from underneath,
where they lie in waiting.
Glowing in the dark, they show the way,
lure the living towards them,
for they want them to share their loneliness.
In life he had stopped listening,
frowned, when she called, made excuses,
but in death her call became irresistible.

Lend me your heart for safe keeping
Love had told him, but he pushed love away
in his effort to reach the alluring voice.
Love only could look on, begged the stars
for the light of acceptance,
the wind for assurance,
the sky for forgiveness.
For love alone cannot confront the dead.

A wounded bird flies deep into the forest for healing.
Protected by undergrowth it sits waiting in stillness
He now needs time to heal the wounds no one can see,
the pain that numbs his feeling and the guilt,
that may bleed him to death,
far away in the depth of his hideout,
furthest away from love.

Poetry by Scharlie Meeuws
Read 706 times
Written on 2008-11-18 at 00:44

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Rob Graber
In line 4, I tried to read "a trace"; but reading it over several times, I find the rhythm better as is. Great to see you resurface on the bay with this profound and moving text!