A handkerchief to wipe the eyes
that he may gaze on bride and groom
as she looked then at twenty-five;
the offspring of their love survives
and gathers in the living room.
Discovered letters she once wrote
in that unsteady girlish hand;
unsheathe each from its envelope,
ignore the cracking of his throat
for he would not be thought unmanned.
These clothes hung heavy with her scent
are characters in search of roles;
he matches them and reinvents,
anticipating her intent
of sliding limbs through gaping holes.
Let’s shut the doors to bar escape
for he imagines her too much,
and overshadowed eyes mistake
that trees and clouds contain her shape,
her whispering this twilight hush.
The children flew
and snow-hush fell
and at a morning
the soft tattoo
of feet on felt
He bends and raises
of past faces
Ray Miller is a Socialist, Aston Villa supporter and faithful husband. Life’s been a disappointment.