Written with an aching heart, here is my response to Napowrimo’s challenge for Day 10.
The Prompt: Write a poem that is a portrait of someone important to you. It doesn’t need to focus so much on what a person looks (or looked) like, as what they are or were.
The Best Of Times
We talked for hours by the fireside
of Keats and poetic greats.
We waxed lyrical of literary works,
swapped recommendations, compared texts.
You lent me dusty old books,
from your bowing bookshelves.
They smelt of aged paper, slightly musty and damp.
Some had prices pencilled on the inside cover
or dedications marking occasions.
They were charity shop treasures you’d unearthed.
We shared sadness as we wondered how works of art and genius
could be so casually tossed aside to charity bags.
We laughed until tears rolled, when the actor who played leading role
in a beloved film escaped us.
“It was errrr… now then… blast it… I know this…
he was also in… no, no, no…
the one with the actress, who was married to…” and it went on.
These conversations were more frequent
as your memory faded,
but we laughed all the same until we recalled the names.
We agreed on Wuthering Heights and Olivier
being best cast in the role
but disagreed on your love of Laurel and Hardy,
It amazed me how you belly laughed
as you watched their slapstick humour.
You bought me a box set of Doris Day
though your pension funds were running out.
No-one else in the world knew or understood
my passion for her voice
Our talks were exclusive.
We’d be enrapt until it went dark outside and I had to leave.
They were the greatest times.
Who would have thought whilst generations apart,
we could have been best friends and soul mates?
Now all I have is a box of your books,
which were handed to me when you died.
I cried because they had been hastily thrown together
without any conscious choice.
Just a random after thought, of “She may like some.”
There are some old poetry collections.
Opening them, I found notes made on strips of paper,
which bookmarked the pages
and an old lottery ticket.
Some poems were starred and I knew before looking,
I’d find stars next to The Highwayman and The Oxen.
I hope you have found new friends to discuss with,
Until we meet again.