"Youth and Time," John William Godward, 1901, WikiArt.
“Youth and Time,” John William Godward, 1901, WikiArt.

For weeks, I have not slept, taking to night
Wanderings, death of husband, widows many
Amongst us, nothing to avail, few moments
To myself, I venture barefoot along foot paths,
Flowering meadows. Why do I leave sleeping
Children for walks beneath stars? In prayers
To blesséd gods, I hope to meet my husband’s
Shade, lost within wheat fields, olive groves,
Nearby roar of ocean shores.

In fitful sleep, his voice beckons me, “I am
Here.” Thus my startled awaking, bed cold
Where he once slept, lantern light flickering
From hearth stones, shadows dancing about
Pallid walls, more haunting that revelation,
For he is not within these rooms, his loving
Presence neither seen nor felt. Alas! Heart
Pounding, specters of fear and doubt chase
Me into black night, refuge of open air.

“My love, I am here!” Walking beneath starry
Firmament, I find peace, solace of my soul. To
Ocean clifftops I climb, cresting waves ‘neath
Full moonlight, wine-dark seas yearning for
Release of earth’s pull to heaven-protecting
Clouds. One the same, vaporous water loose
And free, rain-filled, falling on fertile fields
And groves, wondrous things to behold, my
Heart unbound from grief-chained stone.

“We are one!” Of our children thoughts return,
Never-fading flowers, our lives continue through
Their eyes, young minds discovering farmlands,
Surrounding seas. Our peaceful place amongst
The sun, fulfilling celestial light, we view all
From heavenly citadels, no lingering shades of
Night. We walk together man and wife, waves
Embracing sand, surf and shore conjoined,
Time and tide across pathless skies.

"Waves embracing sand, shore and surf conjoined..."
“Waves embracing sand, surf and shore conjoined…”

With sunrise, duties of widowed-mother return,
Greeting sleepy faces, breakfast of fruit and
Figs, bread for growing bones, hard labours of
Maternal back and brow, sun-beating fields,
Thrashing olives from trees, arms and breasts
Sun-burnished brown, I realize that all love is
Upward driven, mortal flesh lives and dies,
Spirits prevail, night beneath moon and stars,
Husband and I hand-in-hand, night wanderings.

Transition of thought and soul, when do the husband’s
thoughts enter narration, his thoughts joining those
of h
is widowed bride? (Fourth stanza, “We are one!”)
Thanks for reading. 

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