Saturday, April 07, 2007

379. Sarah's Song - Jane Flanders

Always, I am leaving you,
As fragrance leaves lavender,
As the ladybird leaves cupped hands,
As stiffness departs from starched linen.
As the memory of starched linen departs.

I am going away so gradually
No one will notice,
As flavor leaves fruit, as
Men leave pleasure, unwillingly.
As ice leaves the river,
I am leaving you.

Always you will discover
Something of me has vanished during the night,
Something no one can do without.
You have told yourself this so long
You are beginning to doubt it.
Do not doubt, it is true,
But it takes a long time.

You must not count my age in years,
But days, even hours,
There will be more that way.
They will approximate my departure.

It is not easy, this drifting away,
Maintaining what stays behind,
The empty lung, the hair,
Fingers playing the sheet.

My limbs grow wafer-light.
My skull is a bowl of dark wine.
You raise me up, higher than your head.
People have gathered,
But I cannot fly. The leaving is gradual.

You think this song will end.
You buy a black hat, hire the mourners.
One of them dies.
I help grieve for her.

You prepare my last meal, and again my last.
We are progressing.
You must think of the cracks on the ceiling,
The peculiar behaviour of mice.
It will become automatic as breath,
You will say, yes,
She is still among us.

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