Brigid, we parted one February,
an ending for us as the swelling of spring began.
Your name was not Brigid;
the Irvines were lowland Scots, after all,
but you resembled that Irish princess
with the auburn hair, the green eyes,
that cover of the paperback you had lent me
which had entranced me so.
What is it about chemistry?
Or is it music, the way cello and violin
complement one another?
Does the body reflect the soul,
or is flesh mere pretense to mask the true intention?
Things are clearer now —
weren’t we in love with love?
So much easier to bear than with each other,
where loss, pain and misery are set off,
the ticking time bomb of this duality.
And I didn’t say… but I saw you the other day,
older, wiser, a family of your own
but with the same look in your eyes,
Brigid, though decades now separate us,
I am glad of our anonymity,
the memory of what love might be.
Copyright Francis 2021