Thursday, 20 February 2014

Darkness, Be My Friend OR A Feeling for Ghosts

Several people among my own generation have told me recently that they are scared of growing old alone and especially of dying alone. 

Now, as I see it, no one need grow old or die alone even if we live to a ripe old age and have outlived everyone who ever meant anything to us in our lives.

Kindness may sometimes seem in relatively short supply these days, but there is plenty of it about. Be sure, too, there is such a thing as the kindness of ghosts, and our kinder ghosts will never abandon us.


I sat in a comfy armchair,
flicking through pages of a novel,
characters kind, unkind,
and none would be coming
to see me;
I stumbled on a creaking stair,
looked down at the hallway below,
kind ghosts waving,
but none would be coming
to help me

I sat on the edge of my bed
flicking through a photograph album,
kind ghosts comatose
so none would be coming
to hug me;
I lay my head on the pillow
reading love letters pasted on the wall,
but no kind shadows
to take me away, only old age
and dreams

I snuggled under the duvet
recalling the clean smell of fresh sheets,
a safety-net of blankets,
the haunting kindness of memory 
pinioning me;
I closed my eyes, surrendered
to the first sandman with a kind smile
for halcyon days
when life was full, its loving cup
spilling over

As for darkness, yes, I’d be feeling afraid
but for its kindness having the last word

Copyright R. N. Taber 2011

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