VI. TWILIGHT

How awkward, this living,
This moving forward in time
Without you by my side.

The sun rises, then sets,
Each day rolls into the next,
Endlessly, relentlessly,
At times excruciatingly slowly,
And I feel nothing but the soft,
Warm breeze upon my cheek
Marking the dim, dark passage
In this foreign clime.

No weight sits upon my breast
To take my breath away,
No burden bows my shoulders low,
No pain knifes my bereft heart
Leaving me bleeding in the street.

I exist in twilight,
Neither here, . . . nor there,
Half in and half out,
A vision of consciousness
But vacant, nonetheless,
A walking contradiction
Of the grief of death
And the hope of life.
Reaching for tomorrow,
Yet mystified to find it
Locked within my grasp
As one minute it lay
Beyond my reach,
The next, my feet fell softly
Across its threshold,
Silently, unwillingly
Slipping the present
To face unwelcome days.

Moment by moment
I pass between two worlds:
No longer do I fight the arrival
Of a future I cannot stop,
But I do not embrace these days,
Just merely float along,
Skimming life, rather than living,
Wondering when the day will come
That life returns to this
My ghost-like soul.

A sight, a sound,
A smell, a frown,
A smile or tear
Propel me to your memory,
So real, defying truth,
Feeding the desperation
Shut deep within my heart
That you still live,
Nurturing the last, insane vestiges
Of hope too soon to be denied.

From this half-world in which I live,
An awful, undeniable truth emerges:
That this relentless march into the future
Will one day be victoriuous
And I will stand among the living,
Wounded, but healed,
Conscious and engaged,
“Whole” again, yet forever broken.

Each step seems a betrayal
To your memory,
And yet it is your gift to me.
With bitter tears I mourn my treason;
With humbled, grateful heart
I breathe in life and step into
Tomorrow’s cloudless day.

– J. E. Clark / 13 November 2010

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