Afterwords, by Joan Cannon

by Joan Cannon

Under gilt and ruby baroque
we sank beneath glorious waves
of Bach and Brahms and Stravinsky.
Not quite drowned, we stood in the stairwell
and inhaled. I tried not to be coy.
After the concert, you took your leave.

No, too long ago and I’m too long alive
to try to tell it in a single narrative.
Memory is not dependable nor fact
because it is ruled by what cannot be told.
Yet survival instinct is marrow deep;
no lingering breath will relinquish
what it knows must last till there is no time.

Lost, then found, then forever bound
in the toils of ambition, work and laughter
and children. Hope as strong as the grass
that breaks pavement filled us to the brim
with humble thanks. To begin,
the end is the starting point because
there is never to be one — an end, I mean.

Author’s Comment: Books often have forewords. I thought of a narrative poem that might tell the story of my late husband and my lives together, then I realized there was too much be told as a narrative, so I told of our meeting and condensed the rest like soup in a can.

2 thoughts on “Afterwords, by Joan Cannon

    • Thank you for noticing. One of those felicitous phrases that dropped into my head out of nowhere–or maybe out of so many years of observing nature’s peculiar powers.

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