By Dr. Paula Aamli
After Robert Browning
She smiles like sun and takes my hand,
imagining the coming dawn.
I wonder – will she understand?
I wonder – how long will she mourn?
The time is near, and I am torn.
The waiting crowd is in no rush.
The choir, they know, will with the light
sing “Hymnus Eucharisticus” –
male voices rising, bold and bright,
to pray the world be set to rights.
I taste her breath – it tastes of wine.
A few short hours before I leave,
before she is no longer mine.
I tell myself – I must believe –
she could not come, and so I grieve.
My bag is packed, the car is fuelled.
By night, I will be far away.
My duty and my love have duelled…
Today is finally the day.
She does not know – I cannot say.
Dr. Paula Aamli is a Humanities graduate, writer, and poet. Her thesis, “Working through climate grief: A poetic inquiry”, explores individual and institutional responses to the emerging climate crisis, using arts-based research and poetry.
Paula has had poems published, or selected for future publication, in The Lindenwood Review, the Tiger Moth Review, FreezeRay Poetry, and Paddler Press, among others. One of Paula’s poems received a Pushcart Prize nomination in 2021.