WHEN YOU WERE HERE
When you were here
There were hollyhocks in the garden.
Your shadow passed the house,
Stopping before the red lights
Of the Station crossing.
I saw you everywhere then.
The flap of your coat round a distant corner,
Your green shirt adding a leaf
To the darkness of a familiar tree.
In your buttonhole you wore a bright red poppy,
Those blazing flowers that now I give to you
As once you gave to me.
Still I see you.
There is no road, no court, no turning in this town
That does not carry the imprint of your sandalled foot.
No fence, no wall, no plot that does not hold
The memory of your dark and curious eyes.
When you came home after the war was over,
You carried me around this town upon your shoulder,
Until I, too, recognised each old leaf and stone
And your friend’s faces I knew almost as I knew your own.
But now you’re gone,
And all those things you taught and told me,
Which were as close to me as my blood,
Have faded in the bleaching touch of our lost sun,
Except my knowledge of you,
And of your love.
© 2019 Gwen Grant