A Letter from Anna, circa 1979
“My sorrow, when she’s here with me,
thinks these dark days of autumn
are beautiful as days can be.
She loves the bare, the withered trees
She thinks I have no eye for these,
And vexes me for reason why.”
Just when I think all traces of you are gone,
And I should, finally and once and for all,
Close the chapter of us and the way we were,
I’m reminded that I’m not the only one
Who is, from time to time, re-visited,
Though not by you, but certainly by the thought of you...
Something found in a drawer, in a notebook, like this,
Reveals a curious poignancy, a cherishing of what was or might have been,
A tenderness preserved from a moment in time,
A possibility postponed or deferred, a regretful acceptance...
My memory, when he’s here with me,
Thinks…no, he feels with all the love and compassion
That you hardly remember you ever felt for me, with me.
Before the chemical soup of pills shut off the wellspring of our passion,
Before the descent into a chaotic and bewildering
and tragic and uncontrollable madness...
But when he, my memory, is here with me,
I do remember and hope I’ll never forget
How passionately we loved
How joyfully we loved, and for a time
How magnificently we loved…
I remember watching you ride away
On your horse across the desert,
Waving your sword in the air in farewell,
Not knowing how many centuries would pass
…before we would encounter each other again.
And with an almost unbearable feeling of déjà vu,
I remember watching you drive away
On your journey across the country,
Waving your hat in the air in farewell,
Not knowing if we would ever, in this life
…encounter each other again.
So, I will hold Anna’s letter in a safe place for you,
For when you are ready to come down from your cross of self-immolation,
To re-awaken and give new life to your compassion,
To honor, acknowledge and accept
that is the essential truth of your being,
…and encounter once again the women who love you.