For Irene

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Do not look back, Irene
do not turn and gaze
at our inn at the end of the world
where you served so hard a term:

Do not look back at our lake
fringed with feathery bullrushes, attended by moorhens
at our green spaces of gaudy bejewelled dew,
our mighty grandiose protecting trees.

Do not look back at us, though we loved you and felt your pain
fretted for your bound spirit, cased in shadows
when light had left you.

Irene,once the creator of beauty around you
setting stitches in fine cloths, embroidering the silks of heaven,
searching for the perfect,
healing and comforting as you met our confusions and distractions.

You have crossed the sparkling river;
you have walkd the bridge, it is behind you:
Let heaven's own silken chariot take you up,
Rest against the embroidered cushions of creation
travel through earth and water, fire and air
dropping the years, the pains ,the indignities.

Reach the rainbow and rest, it is yours to play with.
Forget us until we reach you, laughing. 

© Asphodel P. Long 2001


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