Wednesday, November 11, 2009

We are rich

It will not last, love will again be free:
There will be one who watches from this hill,
With rich contentment in his eyes, the grey
Flow of eternal afternoon one way,
The valley bindweed in his fingers still.

There will be one who from a drawer will take
Labour and heart's ease for the growing nights:
There will be one who kneels at hide-and-seek
Beneath the yews, too overcome to speak:
There will be lovers putting out the lights.

All will be selfish, weaving as did we,
The world they wish, the bright or dim cocoon,
The daring of the cosy ecstasy.
Sick heart, take comfort then; for there will be
All that there was: good days, though not our own.

For what's the difference, if those eyes that watch--
That hand that threads the needle by the flame--
Those hands that grope towards the flame and touch--
Are but the dream of wombs? They will be rich.
We were: they will be. It will be the same.

- Laurence Whistler, "It will not last." Poems of the War Years: An Anthology.
London: Macmillan and Co., 1950.

My grandfather, James Huntly Wilson,
December 22, 1945,
Enschede, Holland

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