Widow’s Walk

Fiorella de Maria

Last night I dreamt I was with you again,
Walking under the dripping chestnut trees,
Singing an old song you taught me long ago.
“Long ago.” How foolish now, when time is nothing
More than the ticking of a clock in some forgotten corner.
It can only be a moment since we laughed and cried,
I never remember which — and you cradled my face.
I feel the touch of your fingers tracing invisible paths
Into my hair, feel the pressure of an unexpected kiss.

Dear God! How did I find myself walking here alone
In the tunnel of a dream? I will wake to sense in a moment.
I will feel your touch again as our bodies meet. No.
A dream like the tenderest memory haunts me still,
Scattering itself in fragments on the pillow, when the eyes open
And night, unavenged, merciless, ticks on unchecked.

I will be with you again, when the last dream falls,
Gentle, complete, stopping my heart and my unwilling breath.
And the chestnut trees will whisper their lullabies again,
The old song whose words are long forgotten, flicker with life.

Fiorella de Maria lives in Guildford, England, with her husband Edmund and their two little children. She is the author of two novels, The Cassandra Curse and Father William’s Daughter, and has a website at www.fiorellademaria.com.