For the Love of Her
Mon, 11 May 2015
“...and if I should carol aloud from aloft
all things that are forked, and horned, and soft
would lean out from the hollowed sphere of the sea
all looking down for the love of me.”
‘The Mermaid’ (Alfred Lord Tennyson)
No permanent memorial, she’d insisted;
instead, she requested her ashes
be scattered from Southwold Pier...
Thus, our pilgrimage; friends and family,
one drizzly May morning, almost
two years since.
Her expressed wish – not a sombre affair,
so we did our best to keep cheerful,
even after having explained, sometimes
what we want, as individuals, doesn’t always
pan out, not in the grand scheme of things.
‘Just want it to be a celebration of my life, that’s all.
Sorry, if that jars with what you had in mind,’
her words unwinding, still, from my ears.
How much she’d loved this place, though;
row on row of beach huts, all painted
a different shade of folly.
We offered up no prayers; instead,
each read a favourite poem...
Except for me; too choked up to make
any meaningful sense; glad of the rain
to mask my tears. And then a tap
on the shoulder.
“This a poetry reading, lady?” asks
a sunny faced Japanese gent;
his Canon ‘Power Shot’
at the ready.
“Suppose you’re right,” I say, seeing
the funny side.
“OK – so your turn next, Miss.
Say, ‘Cheese’. ‘Watch the birdie!’
My English good, or not?”
So...she’d got her way;
smiles all round; and it helped. Christ...
did it? And some.
Be careful what you wish for?