(A grey-crowned head rests upon folded arms –
blunt'd by long care and earth's caress,
yet hold the quill to leaf-thin page….
Square, careful letters,
to the round, erratic
spill that went before,
line the many pages.
It is finished.
It is time)
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
A mere taste of wind
danced the high clouds to-day.
familiar, dear, finds me in the garden,
sighs its greeting into my ear.
His old cloak holds him warm from the breath of the Sea.
The book is beneath his arm.
My throat tightens.
He does not know I remember.
So small I was,
yet smaller still he seemed, that day.
Even the sound of his feet upon the road
diminished beneath his grief……
even Mum’s kiss,
so gentle-sad upon his cheek…..
even my arms,
tight with love about his neck,
did not bring him back
And though the sun shone,
I saw the grey-green of a ragged Sea
reflected in far-off eyes……..
and a book,
(this same book,) held close to him,
tight to his heart,
as if by holding it, he might keep-safe that which was lost.
He looks a bit lost,
as one in hope of being found.
I show him the roses, now,
the ones he named for me:
Airë-seldë-elennanórë a meril**
How well they grow here:
fragile poppy-paper pink,
swaying like children held captive by the dance……
clinging to sand-mixed earth.
We take tea upon the bench in the garden.
It is strong, this tea.
All the long way from the house of the King
a gift of our Lady to the last of the Ringbearers.
Her letter, the gentle flow of silver-toned words
soft upon gold-limned parchment, stays upon his knee.
He is looking to where the Towers lie.
I follow his eye.
Almost beyond vision,
a slip of white shines upon the blue throat of the Sea.
This time, it shall be me who will return alone from the harbour.
Never shall a ship stay for me upon the turning of the tide.
I fasten the clasp of his cloak about his throat.
He kisses my forehead.
All the words I have learnt at the feet of my Lady,
all the words like music, by means of which
I might bid him farewell, leave me.
I understand the bitterness of her choice now.
In that far land,
beneath the lamps which were lit from the World’s
remember, please, your Elanorelle.
**literally: Sea-child, star-rose. The word elennanórë means star-wards.