Katharine at 36
by Merlin Missy
Copyright 1998

I remember the summer breeze
Sliding fingers through my hair
Radiance on my face and within
Cloying honeysuckle richly overripe strawberries
Flavouring the breeze
You and I beyond the castle walls
Enjoying the thick day
The piercing sun

A moment came
I looked to you and saw a road
Verdant with moss, comforting and worn
Dappled with leaf-screened light
A child danced as we followed
Saw your hand in mind
Our road our child our life
All these in your eyes
As you watched me
Your face at last naked
I thought I saw a glimmering reflection
Of my hidden heart

A cloud passed over the sun
Over your eyes
The moment passed too
The mask of you returned
And stayed

Time's minstrel band played on
We grew, you and I, together and apart
Summer is never changing
The clouds are never the same
Time was when I looked back
Caught that summer's day
The sun, the scent, and you
A raindrop on a spider's web
Both too fragile to dare touch
Locked all in my soul
Tried to forget

Upon a rainy day
I take them out again
Roll the memories in my hand
Wonder of that road

You know by now that I love him
I always did
Always grew
He has become the sun and the summer to me
The moon and the wind and the stars
All
And still I have room enough in my heart
For the little ones
For you

Do not think I cannot remember
I know what you are to me:
Mage, mentor, redeeming angel, friend
I think I know what I am to you

I think you are hurt
And I cannot help
Hurting you drives an ache into my heart
Hurting him would kill me
You must understand

I waited for you all day
All night
You never came
Have you wandered far afield again
Running from what none of us can change?
Running from me?
Come back, when you can
If you wander too far
The part of me that is in you will split
And I should die from lack of you

The hour grows late
I must return to him, to them
Before they wonder why I am here
Watching the clouds after the sun has fled
We shall never speak of this, I fear
Perhaps it is better.

I leave one last thought
Whether it leave you balm or pain
I cannot say
Know only that it is true
The only truth I can give you

In that moment
Watching the sun watching the clouds
That magic moment
Had you asked the question
I would have said "Yes."