I wanted to be a ballet dancer
performing, brilliant at Sadler’s Wells
I wanted to be a fairy queen,
singing poems in the moonlight
I wanted to be a magician
pulling rabbits out of hats
I wanted to entrance like a nymph from the woodland
with leaves in my hair, dropping acorns of delight
And the funny thing was
When you were old before your time
When you were thin, and frail, and just fading away
When you’d forgotten all remembrance of which door was leading where
Of how to do up buttons
Or where the plate of biscuits was when you held it in your hand
The funny thing was that these were the things you once again saw.
You look like Joanna! you declared in delight
You look like a fairy, you said.
And perhaps I was.
Perhaps it was not just you,
that which was invisible to the eye,
But perhaps also I who was changing
In my loving, in my losing,
in my holding on and letting go
I was once more dancing for you,
singing poems in the moonlight,
I was trying my damnedest to pull rabits out of hats
and even now that you are gone,
and beyond all seeing,
I would love still to entrance you,
like a nymph from the woodland,
with leaves in my hair, dropping acorns of delight.