...the ship is leaving...moving into the universe, and one must remain behind...
|It's dawn and I hear the buses passing.
Then, it's morning and the children walk to school.
I stir and stretch and feel the first ache of despair
For today you are leaving. Today you must go.
We've been together for just a while, a few days,
Not even a week, but I've become accustomed
To your presence. I've grown used to you beside me,
Here in bed and as we walk the crowded streets at noon.
Our time is over. Our time is done. No time left.
We've tried to stretch it, to make time stand still,
But we both knew from the start it could not last.
I did not anticipate how much it would hurt.
As you sleep, I study you and commit to memory
Each sweet detail of your face and form,
The look of your face, your lips, your lovely eyelashes.
I touch your hair, your skin, the fine bone structure,
I memorize all I see and touch.
These memories of sight, sound and sensation
Are all I will cling to once you are gone.
I gather these things as I might assemble
A bouquet of roses, holding them tightly,
Flowers to sustain me through the emptiness
Which will consume me when you are gone.
As the clock demands awakening,
I subdue it with a sharp blow, a tap of my hand.
You stir and murmur a protest, stretching, blinking.
Your eyes open, a startling, wonderful shade of gray.
You look at me and I see your heart pulsing,
Awakening in those eyes and rising to meet my heart,
To be joined in mid-air, a melding similar to the joining
Of our bodies which has occurred during these days,
These days of wonder and awakening,
These days in which we have been together
In all the wonderful ways possible for man and woman
To be together in this world and in the next.
An, yet, you must go. You must go today.
And we have no way to change the fate
That stares defiantly in our faces as we awaken.
The planets wait out there, and the stars wait also,
And you will ride the great ship which leaps
Into the vastness, to journey far, to learn much,
To defy time and travel to the end of the universe.
In a year, or what is to you a year, you will return,
But, here on Earth, one hundred years will pass,
And I will be gone, along with all my contemporaries.
I will be but dust on the wind when you return.
I can, however, tell you this. I speak this truth to you.
I will not change. I will be always as you have known me.
When you return, I shall still love you.
When the wind caresses you in welcome, remember me.
When the rain kisses your face, remember me.
I ask only that you remember me.
All that touches you on this planet will be me.