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Memorial - Norman MacCaig

Everywhere she dies.
Everywhere I go she dies.
No sunrise, no city square, no lurking beautiful mountain but has her death in it.
The silence of her dying sounds through the carousel of language, it's a web on which laughter stitches itself.
How can my hand clasp another's when between them is that thick death, that intolerable distance?
She grieves for my grief.
Dying, she tells me that bird dives from the sun, that fish leaps into it.
No crocus is carved more gently than the way her dying shapes my mind.
But I hear, too, the other words, black words that make the sound of soundlessness, that name the nowhere she is continuously going into.
Ever since she died she can't stop dying.
She makes me her elegy. I am a walking masterpiece, a true fiction of the ugliness of death.
I am her sad music.


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