Monday, September 19, 2005

Moving on

It has been said that death is
the ship sailing over the horizon.

Sometimes it feels the other way round;
that those we love have finally settled on the shores of time
and with one last gesture
swung the bottle against our bows
to ease us down the slipway
into the ocean of
of our own

Now we are alone,
untied from the bonds that in turn
nurtured us, then needed us.

Now the definitions change
and memory recolours
all the chores, the repeating conversations, the anxieties
of the frail.
And maybe memory will also serve
to resurrect the dimmer days
when life as young and strong as ours
strung days together with a confidence
long gone.

Times and tides roll on;
days will gather distance from the dead
although the maps they gave us
will never cease to set our compasses
and aid our navigations through the night.

And here are we,
nearer by a generation,
to the final shore on which we stake our place of rest;
to launch our children
unguided, unencumbered
on their deep uncharted seas.

(c) A McN

Written for Clive on the death of his father. We did not know how close he was to launching his own children on the deep uncharted seas.


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