(it Was) A Very Good Year.

My minds image of my Ellen
Is like a rose preserved from time.
Or like a treasured bottle
from a vintage year for wine.

I am haunted by her memory-
How our fingers intertwined.
The fragrance of her body
as I held it close to mine.

I was Mars and you were Venus
your head rested on my chest.
A summer rain began to fall
persuading us to dress.

Now just the shadow of your smile
Brings tears to a dry place.
Funny how my heart can race
Within the ghost of your embrace.
.

You are unchanging, therefore perfect
Your aspect is divine.
I believe our year was vintage-
for love, if not for wine.

(Fifth poem in the Ellen cycle, A summer picnic at Planting Fields, Arboretum in 1979. It was a picnic, marked by a brief rain, where we shared a bottle of Mouton Rothschild)
.

by John F. McCullagh

Comments (3)

I haven't read the other poems about Ellen, but this one is great!
sad yet moving. The endurance of love over the years. nice imagery and rhyming too, though some is more assonance than rhyme.
This poem is so touching, I am compelled to cry for the loss of this evidently enchanting woman. You have such a deep perception for the parallel of the wine and your love for her. I love this.