With hands clasped together, they walked;
Their shoes leaving deep prints in the mud.
Upon reaching a crossroads, they stopped,
And, between them, small white puffs of
breath gathered and scattered, like
regret which comes and goes as it pleases.
Above them, birds sang,
Reminding them that life, indeed,
does not depend on the severity of
their loss, not on their hearts’ painful
breaking, healing, and breaking again.
But for the moment, both were content
to drop the world, if for another gaze
in the other’s eyes,
Another moment of laughter, or a moment of love.
But neither had the heart to find Hope.
The reason for their parting suddenly
became unclear, unreal, impossible.
But to bring again the storm of questioning
was no longer something they could do.
They let go.
One more look back, and then another, and again
until each had gone from sight.
But with them walked the other’s Absence.
Absence, the silent emptiness left behind,
the delicate perfume left in a lover’s wake.
And with them Absence walked, a tireless presence;
relentless and stubborn in its demand for attention,
who walked until both had the strength to leave it behind.
Another companion joined. And this was Memory.
A strange fellow, who showed only the bright, iridescent facets
of love the two shared,
and often conveniently stood in front of the darkness, the blemishes.
But Memory grew and evolved with them, and matured
and eventually became a part of Love.
Love, the unseen, unheard companion
who had taken root inside their hearts.
And only when the time came, only when Absence
had been abandoned,
Only when Memory had infused with it (Love),
did Love reveal itself.
Bloomed within them like a whispered comfort,
a warmth against their frigid flesh,
And they knew that they had indeed loved each other well.
And within that comfort, a spark was lit
And this companion was Prayer.
And Prayer had come to find Hope.