Three Poems Predicting My Death before Yours
There never was anybody else but you. Too late now when
you’ve discovered this to tell you that there probably
never will be anyone else. Middle age: I look back on all
the things we’ve done together. Shall I count the ways?
No: I’ll make a list. So often we’ve sat together at the table
planning the next set of duties that will keep us occupied
by driving us apart. But of all the people in the world
you’re the only one who doesn’t need a list of what we’ve done
or haven’t done. Goodrich Castle, last year in England,
was your discovery. We went there together at your instigation.
A part of you that will always be me, that first discovery
of ruins, new to us, growing from red bed-rock. I thought I had
seen everything worth seeing till I looked on Goodrich,
explored its towers, its labyrinth of connecting rooms.
Civil War tore down the curtain walls, fired the stables,
driving the horses wild with fear. Sometimes, at night,
I can feel that fear pumping through my veins. Knowing
I will die before you, knowing I will leave you alone
to defend yourself between curtained walls, isolated,
besieged by the same memories that mill in my mind.