Poem – Mike Doyle

Written on the Soul

H.M.D. 1928-1958

A July winter among the drab Scots stone,
rain squalls, southerly buster; icy nodes
scour my face. But you feel nothing.
I look down at your stillness, your last smile,
but your eyes are closed. You do not see me.

Everything gone. You were already far
away when it finally ended. Once you said,
‘It’s slow suffocation, Mikey’, speaking
more than you knew, for both of us.
Now your eyes are closed. You do not see me.

And now, distant in time and place, it grieves me
yet again that our days and nights are done:
sunset at Waikaremoana, the fruit harvest
in South Otago. They go on. I go on,
but your eyes are closed. You do not see me.

An unseen finger and thumb closed your eyelids,
as I had closed mine to you before it was done.
Yet I can see your smile on our garden slope
still in my soul, grieve on, have words to speak,
but your heart is closed. You will not hear them.

Dear love, for so you were, where now
the sheen of your hair, our quiet being together,
your young hands clasping my shoulders,
your humour and courage? I cannot find them.
I am here still, seeing you. You do not see me.

Mike Doyle

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