What Her Absence Means

Christy Brown
1932 – 1981


It means
no madcap delight will intrude
into the calm flow of my working hours
no ecstatic errors perplex
my literary pretensions.

It means
there will be time enough for thought
undistracted by brown peril of eye
and measured litany of routine deeds
undone by the ghost of a scent.

It means
my neglect of the Sonnets will cease
and Homer come into battle once more.
I might even find turgid old Tennyson
less of a dead loss now.

It means
there will be whole days to spare
for findings important to a man –
like learning to live without a woman
without altogether losing one’s mind.

It means
there is no one now to read my latest poem
with veiled unhurried eyes
putting my nerves on the feline rack
in silence sheer she – devil hell for me.

It means
there is no silly woman to tell me
‘Take it easy – life’s long anyway –
don’t drink too much – get plenty of sleep – ’
and other tremendous clichés.

It means
I am less interrupted now with love.

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