Together, Apart - Anthony Thwaite
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My wife, to whom I've been married since 1955, rather ruefully says now and again that I don't seem to have written any real love poems about her, or not for a very long time. Here's about as close as I can get to a love poem. (She does like this one.)
Too much together, or too much apart:
This is one problem of the human heart.
Thirty-five years of sharing day by day
With so much shared there is no need to say
So many things: we know instinctively
The common words of our proximity.
Not here, you’re missed; now here, I need to get away,
To make some portion separate in the day.
And not belonging here, I feel content
When brooding on the portion that is spent.
Where everything is strange, and yet is known,
I sit under the trees and am alone,
Until there is an emptiness all round,
Missing your voice, the sweet habitual sound
Of our own language. I walk back to our room
Through the great park’s descending evening gloom,
And find you there, after these hours apart,
Not having solved this question of the heart.
from Selected Poems (Enitharmon, 1997), © Anthony Thwaite 1997, used by permission of the author.