Sadness of a man whose love moves away to further her career. Author F.F. White, speaks of suffering as something that bares an immense weight. “Her absence leans like evergreens heavy with a blizzard’s snow.” Such beautiful language that forces you to live in the story.
White uses the middle stanza to describe the life of the male sufferer (himself?) now that he’s in a long-distance relationship. There are daily letters that keep their love afloat. There are anticipated phone calls that express her hardships abroad. All classic symptoms of the dreaded long-distance relationships.
This fantastic poem makes you wish for her return, and empathize for the man. The ending is incredibly written: “My own company is largely debris from the life I lived with her.” Absolutely brilliant! You can literally imagine all of her things scattered around his home, and their presence just forcing him to remember his love for her and how she cannot be with him.
Alone on the Fourth
Her absence leans like evergreens
heavy with a blizzard’s snow.
Although it seems I have my dreams,
my soul is not content to be alone.
Nightly, we write letters:
quiet planks in the water
held aloft by our love.
But she has left for foreign lands
to add some lofty marks
to the ledger of her career.
I stay up late
to take her phone calls and listen
to her fatigue and wonder,
whistling a world away.
My own company is largely debris
from the life I lived with her.
I walk on in tight rings of disdain,
somnambulating until she returns.
2014 Obscura issue