Love After Love
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
— Derek Walcott
A very new dear friend (aren’t those precious words to be able to say, and a precious reality to reflect on?) gave me this poem – actually read it to me as part of the gift, AND as a punctuation mark in our experience in class.
We talked about my recent past as fertilizer for the experience of this Now. Of this choice. Of this time of education. She gave me that analogy of my immediately past relationship being ‘fertilizer’. I suspect she also got (I CERTAINLY DO) that it was fertilizer as both fuel for growth and fecal product!!
I do love this poem. It means so much to my heart… and yet I know it will mean even more over time!
I can’t yet read it too often, for each time I read it I use up half a box of tissues.