Lest either of us forget

For Martin

You’d kept so many of my cards and the odd letter
of our love’s existential ramblings
thank you for not casting everything into the past
as are my tendencies (and how you teased me for it)
such papery titbits help recall specifics – an infill
for these widowy spidery days I must recreate
each sunrise, from singularity

Needless to say I never forget to remember you
though I’m only able to take small bites of recall
or choke on the whole, unpalatable truth
see there – how the candle burns at twilight
the nights shall not overwhelm in their unholy alliance
with darkness and despair

It was written that I was your rock, your wife,
not in stone but off-white parchment
a foundation of quiet fortitude you’d say
what use have you of such things now?
And if you forget me, what will we become?
That faith we forged from such convergent beliefs
we need as never before – so meet me always on the astral plane
and I’ll divine you in some heavenly hereafter

In the Imaginary Garden, Sanaa invites us to write a poem from Neruda’s magnificently entitled ‘If You Forget Me’. It sparked the Muse and touched a nerve.

At dVerse this week Frank has an offering of November poems and the opportunity for a link up

36 Comments on “Lest either of us forget

  1. Nice line about keeping things to not forget the details: “thank you for not casting everything into the past”. Also the reference to small bites of recall.

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  2. This is beautifully deep and evocative, Laura 💜 especially like; “And if you forget me, what will we become? That faith we forged from such convergent beliefs we need as never before -so meet me always on the astral plane
    and I’ll divine you in some heavenly hereafter.” 💜
    Thank you so much for adding your voice to the prompt 😊

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  3. How lovely that he kept these things – little memories for you to delve into. What will you discover that you’ve forgotten? I have all my letters from my husband when he went to sea (40 years) – he’s kept none of mine.

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  4. Intensely poignant, Laura. I like the idea of converging beliefs and meeting again in another dimension where we will find out that we are all one, really.

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  5. Ah, this is beautiful and emotive in equal measures — the idea of forgetting and remembering gains a new threshold, a new meaning here. The love shared and cherished, the trinkets of memory all make for a lovely element in this evocative verse. I love this bit for its upfront honesty and unveiled sadness: “though I’m only able to take small bites of recall/or choke on the whole, unpalatable truth/see there…”

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  6. Laura, this touched my heart in so many ways. I am the keeper in my marriage, I tend to hold onto things. I think it’s wonderful. you have these memories. Losing your mate is difficult.

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    • I think perhaps those of us who are not keepers are quietly preparing for losing – but of course nothing prepares for this totality of absence. Keep on keeping on! And thank you for your touching words

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love how you described remembering the tidbits not to choking on the whole… I almost imagine this as being similar to causing pain by cutting yourself… such small pains make you not see the bigger one. Hmm maybe I went a bit far there.

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    • No you hit the nail – we cut ourselves to feel physicality of hurt which is more bearable than emotional pain – now I am straying into the therapist

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  8. This is beautiful. You remain in my thoughts and in my prayers. I grieve in small ways daily for what has been lost since my husband had his stroke, but I cannot imagine what you must be feeling.

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  9. Such a lovely tribute to the beautiful union. I love this part, when he called you:
    a foundation of quiet fortitude you’d say

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  10. Laura, oh my, how truly heartbreaking… ;-(. May healing find its way steadily to you. What a blessed gift Martin left for you. A way to look together into his heart and memories and find you and he there, with one another again. Beautiful words to Martin. We don’t know each other, but I know love and I know profound loss, so in that way, we know each other. My thoughts are with you Laura, “ut pax tua” (may peace be yours)…

    …rob from Image & Verse
    Lost in Azure

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    • thank you Rob for taking time to comment with such comforting words – (these profound emotions of love and loss we all understand and it brings us together – heaven knows we need such times!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • There are enough hard edges in this damned world. To have the honor and opportunity to extend some comfort is a blessing… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  11. There is so much power in never forgetting to remember someone… and that power is incredibly potent in these words… in the way gather momentum from line to line and stanza to stanza… until the promise of finding him at forever seals the true meaning of never forgetting.

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  12. The whole first stanza is gorgeous and “It was written that I was your rock, your wife,
    not in stone but off-white parchment … I love that I can hear the voice in this poem, like I’m being invited into a confidence…

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    • that is just how I intended and am so very glad that you can hear it- sharing something intimate as Martin but also the loss we all know about

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  13. Whittler’s grief, working it bit by bit, when we are done, something has changed, but the piece is made of the same stuff. I am finding your beautiful elegies to Martin so moving. I am grateful for these honest and personal sharings, I am sorry they are purchased with such pain. I loved your candle in this one.

    “see there – how the candle burns at twilight
    the nights shall not overwhelm in their unholy alliance
    with darkness and despair”

    a prayer ascending? You are blessing me Laura, my love and I are slipping… into a form of separate ressurections, but I feel mostly grief about it, the world would teach me to feel acrimony, but your Martin poems remind me how wonderful the love is, and exquisitely sharp the grief (eyes a tad incontinent just now)…

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    • thank you Lona as always for your immense feedback- these poems arise rather too easily, prompted by such things as our cards as well as the simplest of shared experiences constantly recalled that make eyes ‘a tad incontinent’, even in the street. I am normally a very private person but there are times when it is as well to speak out and perhaps it is a light in the darkness of the world when what we have had and lost is a well beloved. Yes there are separate resurrections to follow here too but I believe never disjoined

      Liked by 1 person

  14. That’s beautiful!

    I am in similar vein, you will see, but different mood – having been widowed 6 years now. Step by step….

    How lovely to rediscover your words so treasured by him.

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