Five years on

My lovely Sue died five years ago today. It’s a beautiful summer afternoon, just as it was then. The house is peaceful. The lilac tree we planted where she planned to put it is thriving. Life goes on, but the sense of loss endures. A few evenings ago, walking in the grounds of the church where she’s buried, I remembered Thomas Hardy’s poem, The Walk:

You did not walk with me
Of late to the hill-top tree
By the gated ways,
As in earlier days;
You were weak and lame,
So you never came,
And I went alone, and I did not mind,
Not thinking of you as left behind.

I walked up there to-day
Just in the former way;
Surveyed around
The familiar ground
By myself again:
What difference, then?
Only that underlying sense
Of the look of a room on returning thence.