Love heals the beaten wound of a heart,
darns its sheath, the reason I'll jive always
up and down every friendless road.
Some see in it a vivid success, like a mother
self-fusing with time in the dim light
many days are made from. Like a friend
never refusing the challenge of a smile.
Like a teacher with her pupils day and night
even in the absence of face in front of face.
It's all luck for her today, they say, the accident
is a moment tugging at the long horizon
to patch nonsense up and take her, unbowed,
to be with her lover, as the sound of Utah
trills through salt air, the thrill of a parent
tucking her child in and reciting love
in the space of eyes shutting to prayer words.
Like a promise that fills a room. Like the sense
of incense dancing up to transport a spirit
from the bleak pledge of yet another day.
Some fear it will never be the end, but fear
is just the beginning. Her poems will come,
from the depths of worlds, to visit you again
and again. You can't reject her, you can't refuse
to consume the linctus of her sound and chant,
in this fœtid air of death following her exit.
O, the strength she leaves! It is what her stove
length wood gives the fire of our gratitude.

15 September 2022


Go well, Joyce. We're already missing you.