(1945 / Portsmouth)

Guides For The Soul

Who thickens from the shadows as you die?
Who silences your comprehending cry?

Emblem of all you lost and now inherit,
What psychopomp attends your parting spirit?

The unattainable beloved who
Usurped your life once, and eluded you?

The worshipped clerisy, your sacred dead
Oracular inside your dreaming head?

They may be there – lost somewhere in the host
Of those who welcome your convulsive ghost.

It is a crowd that parts for you, a throng
Among whom now, forever, you belong:

They are the pleas you had no patience for,
The pathos you brushed off: the waiting shore

Is filled with those you failed. You recognize
The sum of what you are in their blank eyes.

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