returning

I have been gone
too long from here
from lulling grasses
rustling keen kisses
at the magnolia’s feet,
white petals bruised
to scent, sharp
and sudden as the flap
of a finch flushed
from beneath the boxwood

the watchful eye
of a sentinel moon
rises low and hangs heavy
between black branches
our absence has grown wide
and horizons have grown hazy
where will I find you again,
if not in crushed petals,
or clinging, freshly unearthed
to thready roots of rue

I bloom nonetheless
though something hesitant
shifts within and grows restless
tired all at once of waiting
for what is yet unreturned

© Sarah Whiteley

remembering you forgetting me

here, just now, I’ve recalled
how mine are companionless hands
and how the heart curls inward of late,
cradling the curiosity of contrition
in spite of knowing with certainty
I am far more whole now
than I was while trying to fit
bits of you into places
that could not trust the intrusion

dearest love (for you remain thus),
yours will ever be the heart
to which mine responds in kind,
and though we are far beyond bearing
this distance is as none at all
I will rise and break at each cold day
remembering you forgetting me
but hearing more in your silence
than what forgetting conveys

© Sarah Whiteley

remembering in October

mine is not a life without sky
but like a pebble pocketed
and half forgotten
my fingers will brush
the cool smoothness of you
and be startled into sadness
for the space of a long heartbeat
or a breath lightly held
before moving on beneath
the sighing lull of yellowing trees
mine is not a life without sky
though there are times
I can feel the edges of it
following along beside
wearing your scent,
carrying your sound,
and casting our words
to the leaves at my feet

© Sarah Whiteley