“To see death is to touch life,” she said,
Turning her head to look at him,
Turning west, that is,
Towards the framed light of a dipping sun.
This happened as we sat in the quiet room,
Wooden floors, orange wall,
A cluster of plants by the window,
A peppering of oriental objects,
The array of thumbed books,
Stacked and propped in coloured slants.
On all of this, the sun was setting,
Settling its glittering rays, like fingers stroking bristles
And pausing most tangibly, it seemed,
Where a painting hung on the auburn wall.
An etching; mottled wood of dying tree,
Beside stone wall; stacked, propped, muted,
Yellow wisp of grass licking bark,
The sun itself drawn circular; statuesque, rustic sky.
And the rays meanwhile danced,
Against the glass-front of the painting,
Across the face-skin of she speaking wisdom;
Danced with such grace and compassion,
That I thought, “This is it…
“This is the communion of what is alive
With what is dying.
Right now, held in its falling light.”