Friday, April 03, 2015

Eunice de Souza 'She and I'

One of the first full collections of poetry I ever remember reading (as opposed to single poems, or poems in anthologies), is Eunice de Souza's Women in Dutch Painting - a book that is now out of print and can't be had for love or money, though most poems from it are to be found in A Necklace of Skulls (assuming that is still in print).

Someone had gifted my mother a copy, and its nearly-plain brown cover with the title seemed friendly. The poems were short, as all of de Souza's poems are but I realised very quickly that they packed a punch.

Looking over that collection this morning while thinking up a column and remembering a person I knew in school who'd disappeared, I found this poem and it seemed fortuitous.

She and I

by Eunice de Souza

Perhaps he never died.
We've mourned him separately,
in silence,
she and I.

Suddenly, at seventy-eight,
she tells me his jokes,
his stories, the names of
paintings he loved,
and of some forgotten place
where blue flowers fell.

I am afraid
for her, for myself,
but can say nothing. 

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