The Reaver Never Returns

A lantern hangs from a hook by your door,
swinging in the wind, flickering in the night.
I stand beneath the light, swaying in time
to its pendulum count. The soft breeze sings
in my ears, kissing my cheek. Memories
of your lips linger with the scent of rain.

The steps are slick and clean, washed with the rain.
I shook mud off my boots, climbed to the door.
You didn’t answer my knock. Memories
of our last touch, our last sigh fill my night.
I lean on the door and the bell-chime sings
from the back porch.
I remember that time,

hanging the bells. We lost track of time,
delighting in dancing bells and the rain
of songs around us. In rain, each bell sings
about that day. When I wandered, the door
was left open. I could see, through the night,
the room where you knitted your memories
in scarves and sweaters.

And the memories
in the damp wool around my throat, the time
spent by the fire when I took you for the night
and from your knitting, glisten with the rain
beneath the lamp light. I knock on the door
again. A brave, damp night bird sits and sings
on your roof.

Around me, the breeze still sings
about its stolen kiss and memories
tingle on my cheek. I turn from the door
and wander on. The echos of our time
together mingle on my face with rain
and I fade from the lamp glow into night.

I still dream we are dancing each night,
dancing on the back porch. The bell-chime sings
|n gentle breezes and the regular soft rain
misting down on us. I have memories
and wool. This is all you’ll leave me of our time,
all I have to help me face the unopened door.

The rain picks up as I walk into the night.
I keep listening for the door. The night bird sings,
unweighted by our memories. I wonder if I’m gone for the last time.

© Michael Fay 1994