MS (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

0037 To, For, Sheila W.

This evening, I thought of you
after, how long, forty years:
you, sitting across the oak table
in the old forge's kitchen, that John had made
from salvaged shop fittings,
his sleeves rolled up, workmanly care
mixed on his face with amused dissatisfaction;

you, looking across at me with a girlish joy
which, daughter, wife, mother, grandmother,
was always there – a girlish joy
that could hardly believe its luck
to find its understanding in another;
enthusiastic excitement rising like a blush;
then a little check of breath, as if
in company, courtesy required
it be controlled, or else
it would flood out and fill the room,
burst open the doors, out across the fields,
to seek out every other soul that welcomed it…

in such a moment shared, (it is as if)
one knows everything one needs to know
of earth; of heaven.

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