The Bridge - Samwise speaks once more....

Sometimes in a dream
I see him before me
looking just exactly
as when I last beheld him
standing in the harbour
but with the ruddy tinge
of happiness and health.
Around us is a garden
I could never have imagined
the flowers seem to breathe
and the trees to have heartbeats.
I see white marble towers
with windows of crystal glass
shingled with gold and gemstones
gleaming in the distance
topped with embroidered banners
fluttering in the breeze.
I feel almost an intruder
although the steps are silky
the air a spicy tent
with vines and shivering light.
I enter in with shyness
embraced by his smile
and the chiming of mystic bells
in harmony with birdsong
and the lullaby of the waves.

And then he clasps my hand
with a gentleness and warmth
that lingers when I waken
almost like a hat
that you can feel upon your head
long after you take it off.
He leads me to a friendly bench
and brings me tea and cakes
reveling in my wonder.
How goes it with the little ones
has the baby learned to walk?
Tell me what clever things they say
and how they do in school
the games they love to play
how pretty the eldest is growing
and the one you named for me
I know he is the smartest....

The birds start at our laughter.
No story too mundane,
he would hear it all
and then to me he says:

My most beloved friend,
this land is now my castle
where illness is a stranger
and pain dare not trespass
night terrors are laid low
and burdens turned to wings
but still this glass I carry;
I peer into its light
and clearly see your face
(although naught but what
you would have me see!)
The voices of your children
make the light burn brighter
the stories that you tell them
protect it from hard frost.
No sea can separate us
for memory is a starry bridge
that will ever lead you to me
no matter what dark things disturb
the hungry waves below.
Still I would have you cross it
only as is needful
lest your steps should wear it thin
and you forget from whence you came.
Your place is in the sunlight.
You must carry only joy
upon your sturdy shoulders
that should bear my weight no longer.

Then as the air grows purple
and puts on the veil of stars
he stands and holds the glass
to light my way back over the bridge
raising one hand in farewell
and once more my throat tightens
even as I remember
his final words to me:
We shall meet again
never to be parted
and only then
the bridge will fall....

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