Before the quiet rustle of relatives,
Watched by the bare fields below clouded skies,
I stood stiffly beneath the memories;
Dry-eyed. Words of comfort washed over me.
Love came to me not in the pink softness
Of recalled embraces, nor in the lilt
Of soft words, but as a hard thing, a forge
Hammering my character into shape;
As an argument, painful, embodied.
Her tigerish dislike of sentiment
Knotted her guts. Law’s dry rules governed her;
She dared not dream, all hopes were
Crushed by the weight of her fears;
Her despair she planted in me to fight
For her, to turn to music, to the poetry
We glimpsed in her annual pilgrimage
To Scrooge’s awakening to unbridled joy.