On the Anniversary of the Death of Edgar Allan Poe, 7th October, 1849
Almost a suicide, a suicide prepared for a long time
-- Charles Baudelaire
Your sadness, my friend, takes little guessing at;
it has settled like a vagrant in those eyes:
restless, hopeless, too long weary of the road
but still too much enamoured of the night;
and anguish, perhaps, was the price you paid
for the jewelled toad you carried to the graveyard.
Your losses, after all, were too green and too many,
too precocious a burden to bear well. Now
that high, square brow, the hair line receding,
though it pleads with me to treat you tenderly,
speaks to me, also, of the kind of handsome rogue
on whom I spilled the salt tears of my youth.
I fear that you are like them: pleading forgiveness,
a frail and insubstantial hero. A mother's love,
a child's love: these are things you needed too much.
Abigail Wyatt was born in Essex but now lives in Redruth in Cornwall. Her poetry and short fiction have appeared in more than a hundred magazines and journals including, most recently, Wave Hub: New Poetry of Cornwall (ed. Dr. Alan Kent). She is a Pushcart nominee and the author of Old Soldiers, Old Bones and Other Stories. In 2012, she was the winner of the Lisa Thomas Poetry Prize.