… And when the west is red
With the sunset embers,
The lover lingers and sings
And the maid remembers.
– Robert Louis Stevenson, “Songs of Travel”
From dusty shelves, she ‘trieves an ancient book.
She reads a song in silence, taking in
The words and pictures with a loving look;
A world of music, long before the din
Of what must be, and what all might have been.
For what she’s lost — it never goes away,
As yielding night gives rise to feigning day.
The sorrows that we carry bury us,
Although we cover artfully each one;
But memories, like songs, are various
In all the ways they help us come undone,
So we can leave the dark, reclaim the sun,
The way she’s doing now, inside a brain
And heart that have known way too much of rain.