JH (6 September,1962 / Sydney, Australia)

Focus Of Happiness

There's a photo of you above my desk
St Kilda beach with the sand almost hiding you
You search for shells
with the intensity of life.
Even when you look for shells it is everything.
There is no one else in the photo
I, the camera, am distant watching admiring
Your whole focus is in your action
We walked near that same beach this weekend
The refrain from Hosea echoed through my mind
and your tears as you sang
We rode the merry-go-round again
Jumped on without thinking about what it meant
and then returned
sat in the same place on the couch
with the same fear;
the same intensity
as looking for shells.
Why do I feel like a wife
watching her husband head off to war
knowing he will never return,
preparing roses for the inevitable coffin?
Perhaps I knew
when I took that photo
Perhpas I should have known
you are free
you have always been free
you cannot be held
except by your own intensity.
So I leave you on the beach
I hope you have found some pretty shells;
I shall keep an empty frame for them.

(12 March 1996)

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