LOVE BY EAVAN BOLAND

Image

Dark falls on this mid-western town
where we once lived when myths collided.
Dusk has hidden the bridge in the river
which slides and deepens
to become the water
the hero crossed on his way to hell.Not far from here is our old apartment.
We had a kitchen and an Amish table.
We had a view. And we discovered there
love had the feather and muscle of wings
and had come to live with us,
a brother of fire and air.
We had two infant children one of whom
was touched by death in this town
and spared: and when the hero
was hailed by his comrades in hell
their mouths opened and their voices failed and
there is no knowing what they would have asked
about a life they had shared and lost.

I am your wife.
It was years ago.
Our child was healed. We love each other still.
Across our day-to-day and ordinary distances
we speak plainly. We hear each other clearly.

And yet I want to return to you
on the bridge of the Iowa river as you were,
with snow on the shoulders of your coat
and a car passing with its headlights on:

I see you as a hero in a text —
the image blazing and the edges gilded —
and I long to cry out the epic question
my dear companion:
Will we ever live so intensely again?
Will love come to us again and be
so formidable at rest it offered us ascension
even to look at him?

But the words are shadows and you cannot hear me.
You walk away and I cannot follow

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “LOVE BY EAVAN BOLAND

  1. My favourite lines:
    ‘love had the feather and muscle of wings
    and had come to live with us,’
    Thank you for posting this, Afric. Is the poem published in a collection?

  2. This is sad, but lovely. I’m probably stating the obvious here, but the juxtaposition of the narrator’s very matter-of-fact description with her more colourful speech when she is referring to him is effective:

    “Our child was healed. We love each other still.
    Across our day-to-day and ordinary distances
    we speak plainly. We hear each other clearly.”

    and

    “I see you as a hero in a text —
    the image blazing and the edges gilded —
    and I long to cry out the epic question
    my dear companion:
    Will we ever live so intensely again?”

    Very nice!

    marion

    • Hi Marion,
      Yes, those darts of lyricism are all the more striking for being placed alongside the stark simplicity and poignancy of such lines as those: ‘Our child was healed. We loved each other still.’ The poem brilliantly conveys all the complexities and subtleties of a long marriage, doesn’t it?
      Thanks for your feedback and glad the poem resonates for you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s