Poem ending with a line from George Barker

Our daughter Eleanor died 21/04/ 2020


You turned to me from looking at the summit view:

In a cloudless sky the sun without mercy

Seized in its light the sharp mountains

The dusty plain and the far sea.

We set out serenaded by cowbells

Eased ourselves above the flowers and bushes

Struggled over bare rock ridges

With sheer slabs where I needed your shooshes

To let you make your own away to the top.

I was elated, but in your smile was knowledge

That this was as good as it would get, you were unwell

And wouldn’t recover no matter the courage

With which you’d face going down. You were asking

Me to recognise this truth and hold it

In my heart, and not to hurt you with false hope.

Suddenly I was aware how cold it

Gets up there and failed your honesty thinking,

“I want to keep you as you are.”

But now at last I come to say goodbye

Most near, most dear, most loved, and most far.

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