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When there are no words – a prose poem

A letter to someone very dear:

“Time is running out.  I want to tell you that I love you, so very much do I love you. But my tongue is glued to my palate, my vocal chords are incapable of forming that necessary initial vowel. There are times when I dislike you, when I find you downright nasty. But I love you anyway, you’re part of me, and when you’re gone there will be a void in my life, a little place of dark grief that hopefully will metamorphose into a bouquet of beautiful memories – remembrance roses in every shade of pink you can imagine.

Time is running out. I should swallow my pride and tell you all the things I want to say to you, but there are no words. Anger makes me breathless, fear of you soon being gone strikes me mute. One day soon I’ll not see you smile when I sing for you – nobody else but you smiles like that when I sing. There will be no more conversations late into the evenings over wine and tea, no more games of Scrabble, no playful arguments about what poet wrote that poem. No one will beam at me with such obvious pride as you’ve done, no one will quite so cruelly tear me to pieces with a few choice words.

Time is running out. I am so sorry we quarreled. I finger my phone but am not quite sure I want to hear you being cold and distant. I don’t want to hear you weep either, I want you to be like you used to be, but these days you’re so erratic – you never used to be erratic. And I hate it that you’re ill and frail, that simple pleasures such as taking a swim or a walk are no longer there for you.

Time is running out. I want to be there for you, hold your hand. I … sorry, no words. I love you. You know that, don’t you? Of course you do, just as I know you love me. But maybe I should tell you so and do it soon – before you’re gone.

Time is running out. I.Love.You.”

Jan Frans van Dael, Roses in a glass vase

Jan Frans van Dael, Roses in a glass vase. And with those few sprays of forget-me-not, what better image to depict a bouquet of memories?

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