Come again glistening from your morning shower
Half-coquettishly you’ll throw
Your robe at me calling out ‘Hello! Hello!’
I turn over stretching out to snatch
A bundle from the air and once more to watch
That parade across your bower.
Jaunty, brisk, allegro,
Preparing improvisations of yet another day
As on our first morning twenty-seven years ago.
Sit on the bed-end and pull a stocking on,
Slip that frock over your head
Let it slither a little, ride your hips, then spread
Its folds and tumbles, flopping past those thighs
To swish against your ankles.
I’m still all eyes.
The thrill and first frisson
At the half-known but unsaid,
At hints and contours embodied in a dance of dress
I’m ogling snugly from this your still warm bed.
Now you’re hurrying, business-like and ready to go.
I wonder if I’ve ever glimpsed you
Or if all those years I even as much as knew
Behind those hints and suggestions I admire
What inmost aim or dream or heart’s desire
Calls out ‘Hello, Hello!’
Flirt and peekaboo
Of such unwitting closeness, our take-for-grantedness,
Complex web of intimacies where we slowly grew.
Sometimes wells of aloneness seem almost to imbue
Your silence with the long wistful rubato
Of a Chopin nocturne or is it a seannós tremolo?
‘Má bhíonn tú liom bí liom, gach orlach de do chroí’
If you’re mine be mine, each inch of your heart for me’
That infinite longing in you
A girl racing to follow
The bus’s headlamps to meet your father at Bunbeg.
He steps down from the platform. Hello! Hello!
You smile your father’s inward Zen-like smile.
And yet its light shines outward
As when I watched you helping a child to word
The coy, swaggering pleasure of new shoes,
A muse the more a muse in being a muse.
That inward outward smile
Delights in delight conferred,
Fine-tuning those strains and riffs of wishes unspoken,
Desires another’s heart doesn’t yet know it has heard.
Now I see you, now I don’t. The doubt
And loneness of what’s always new,
Moments seized in double time, love’s impromptu,
As when late last night you started telling me
How even as a girl you’d known your dream would be
Bringing others’ dreams about.
This once I think I glimpsed you,
You my glistening, lonely, giving Mistress Zen.
Thank you. Thank you for so many dreams come true.