Okay, my birthday was last Sunday and I’m still celebrating. I drafted this post quite some time ago, with the place-holder title: “Publish on my birthday.” Cuz, you know, I might forget. Now I have a second-wind birthday present: I get to experience this poem and the “On Being” broadcast all over again.
Please give this a listen. I promise you will love it as much as I did.
LOVE AFTER LOVE
by Derek Walcott
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.