Love After Love
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life.
Derek Walcott was a Caribbean (St. Lucia, Jamaica, Trinidad) writer, poet, playwright and painter.
On writing: "I have never separated the writing of poetry from prayer. I have grown up believing it is a vocation, a religious vocation ...the body feels it is melting into what it has seen… the 'I' not being important. That is the ecstasy...It’s a benediction, a transference. It’s gratitude, really. The more of that a poet keeps, the more genuine his nature."