In My Absence

If you expect to find me
rounding the same corner I do every day,
you will walk past the faded lilac bush there,
and not see me.

Neither will I be on the bench,
waiting for the train,

“My heart awaits you: you can turn it into life and hope with just a glance.” Tatyana’s letter to Onegin, Eugene Onegin, Alexander Pushkin

If you wait for me
at the market next Thursday,
near the apple stand,
you will wait for me until dusk falls
into darkness,
and still I will not come.

Neither will I be at home,
at the window overlooking the garden,
looking for rain.

“I am half agony, half hope.”
Captain Wentworth’s letter to
Anne Elliott, Persuasion, Jane Austen

If you walk on Sunday,
along the river,
you could walk the length of two cities,
and not cross my path.

Neither would I be
on the stone bridge,
tossing leaves from the arches.

“I call God to witness, if Augustus, ruling over the whole world, were to deem me worthy of the honour of marriage, and to confirm the whole world to me, to be ruled by me forever, dearer to me and of greater dignity would it seem to be called thy strumpet than his empress.” Heloise’s letter to Abelard

No, you will have to find the place I once was,
and am no more, and seek from there.

Watch for the faintly joined grasses
where I have but recently passed.

Trust your sense, when walking into a strange room,
that it was I who left the door ajar.

Close your eyes against the sun
and wait for my shadow to pass by.

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6 thoughts on “In My Absence

  1. Ron Potter says:

    This is sheer beauty. The way you mix the classical with the contemporary shows the extraordinary quality of your work.

  2. Bill king says:

    Kay, I’m really enjoying these and love the blending of the letters into the poem. I’m not well educated in poetry, but really love these!

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