A couple of years ago I wrote a poem about a bench seat that sits beneath a tree at the top of a hill in the Rushcliffe Country Park. Doreen and I walked that park with our dogs for years, we knew every twist and turn in the miles of dirt paths by heart. We used to sit on this bench to get our breath back and just take in the beauty of he place. When I originally wrote the piece it wasn’t about Doreen, or us, it was about an imaginary couple that trod the same paths,
Since I lost Doreen I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the past, trying to focus on the happy times and our walks around the country park came high on my list of things we did together. Doreen loved those walks, we used to go most nights through the summer and just about every Sunday morning. Last night, in bed, I followed our route in my mind and when I arrived at the bench my poem sprang to mind. This morning I made one or two small changes and it now works as a tribute to Doreen and to the place she loved so much.
It’s not the best poem in the world, but it’s mine. I’m thinking of having it read out at Doreen’s funeral on Tuesday but I don’t know if it’s worthy of her. I’ll think about it between now and then, If anyone can think of anything that will improve it I’d be more than grateful. I really don’t want to it to come across as oversentimental.
For Doreen. The Bench (remembering)
The blossom’s gone for this year,
the seat beneath the tree,
is empty now, devoid of life
for anyone but me.
I still feel your presence here
I never feel alone, in
our special nook, our secret spot,
the place we made our own.
I make this journey every week,
it isn’t hard on me.
I’m happy knowing you are here,
sad, things weren’t meant to be.
The tribute plaque was fitted
without a lot of fuss,
the sun reflects upon the words
as I reflect on us
‘In memory of Doreen,
my beautiful, best friend,
you’re with me in this lovely place
until the very end.’
And when at last my life is done
we’ll make that final climb,
my ashes strewn along with yours,
together for all time.
Soft winds will blow us through the grass,
the rain will make us whole
Autumn leaves will hide us, ‘til
spring breezes free our souls.
Our bond will be eternal and
whenever lovers meet
they’ll feel our love around them