June 20th, 2008

poetry, exceptindreams

230: To N, in absentia

“To N, in absentia
Robyn Sarah

I do not know how you went out of my life
or when exactly. The leaves of the Norway maple
are beginning to turn yellow, fall has come.
I last saw you on an evening at the end of July
but I think you were already gone then,
I think by then you had been gone for a long time.

And so it seems meaningless to count the days
yet still I count them, August, September,
October now half over, terrible days,
And I do not know where you are
or when I may have news of you again.
But I remember as if yesterday the day
you came out of my body into this world,
a fine splash in full midsummer, a small cry
like the meow of a Siamese cat,
your eyes wide open and looking all around;
remember how in the early hours of that morning,
before you arrived, I heard pass down our street
(as I had heard each morning that summer
of my thirtieth year) the clopping sound
of a lone horse pulling a calèche,
his sleepy driver bound for the road
that climbs Mount Royal's slope.

No one can take away that morning
or the exactness of its place in time.
I go there often.
I visit it like a temple.