Staying on the Lurve Theme

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We Have Not Long To Love

By Tennessee Williams (1911ā€“1983)

We have not long to love.
Light does not stay.
The tender things are those
we fold away.
Coarse fabrics are the ones
for common wear.
In silence I have watched you
comb your hair.
Intimate the silence,
dim and warm.
I could but did not, reach
to touch your arm.
I could, but do not, break
that which is still.
(Almost the faintest whisper
would be shrill.)
So moments pass as though
they wished to stay.
We have not long to love.
A night. A day….

Source: poetryfoundation

This poem originally appeared in the February 1991 issue of Poetry magazine

I find this poem very poignant. The line: “Light doesn’t stay” doesn’t trouble me, I suspend my disbelief. Yet my experience is that it is at those times of death and birth that the patterns of light become more revealed. Light spilling through glass, light on the river, light defining a rose, and the patterns of autumn light dancing against my own stillness.