FROM MICHAEL, ON ACTIVE SERVICE

Posted by Admin on Sunday, 29th June 2008, 00:00

When I see you so wise and cool,
with such silly sickness gazing
on that fool to whom your love is given;
then, O lover wife, I know I’m waiting,
avid for the time when love
shall close the shutters of our minds
upon the carnage now to be endured –
erase all thoughts of stricken fields,
the stench of corpses, foetid in the sun,
that spirit-crushing clamour when
a barrage makes us long, in agony, to cry
“Enough!” – and yield.

How long, my love, before we know,
in days of peace, the rapture of our hope
fulfilled?

How many years will be vouchsafed
for us to live life to the full,
rejoicing in the vigour of a curtailed
youth regained?

How long before you sit and watch
my thickening neck, while grease-stained ties
betray that those advancing years,
insidious in their approach, have brought
the palsied hand?

Will you with dimming eyes perceive, unmoved,
repulsive senile traits, the once rare lips
hang flabby with the slobbering incontinence
of age?

Possessed of reassurance, I might well
sustain foreknowledge of your own decline,
connoting, as it must, the boring repetition
of an oft-told tale, a lack of physical
control equivalent to mine.

I might with resignation then await
that greater testing time when love draws
to a close, all passion’s fires extinct,
and only mutual tolerance can hide
repugnance at our unfastidious ways.

A variation of “Crystal Wedding”, added 6th July 2008.

T. C. Hudson

© T. C. Hudson.

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