Gargoyle 8
cover photo by Stan Wayman
publication date 12/2/1977

Pearls In A Glass

Paul House

(for Jaana)

I had not looked to find you gone
So soon and with so little noise.
I turned to offer up some word
Or phrase that maybe I could touch
To bring me close to you again,
To say the things I missed before
As I stood and watched you grow apart
From me with a divine indifference
That belied the trust I held like a
Broken weed there in my hands.

And now only a year had passed
Yet my hands could reach for nothing
More than a faint shape stumbling
Across a gap that I couldn’t fill.
I called towards you mouthing words
I thought that you would like to hear,
Turning the shape over and over
In my hands and trying to reach you,
Trying to place you. In flesh. In bone.
In anger. In love. In anything.

But near you was always a dark shadow
That smudged your face and confused me.
All that once was real had melted.
All that once was bright had darkened.
Being curious, though, I wandered through
Many drawers and days until I found
A bundle of your purest pictures.
I delayed so long beside their sad
Expressions that the frames became
No longer gold, but tinged with gilt.

But it matters only what small
Part of you I can still hold
And carry with me into the world,
For your eyes no longer looked out at me
But past me into new shadows
That you will turn to when you move,
Moaning to yourself in sleep,
Oblivious to my forgotten prayers.
Oh had I not looked to find you,
I never would have found you gone.