Thinking of Chelsea Murphy by Betsy Whitmarsh…
Stop all the clocks
By W. H. Auden
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message [S]he Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
[S]he was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
Today, for the first time, I can feel that insatiable tug of life, pulling us forward, into the future, and away from you.
I want to stop the clocks and just rest here with you for awhile.
I know that we are, all of us, transformed, by you. By the gift of your presence in our lives.
And now, we must find a way to carry your heart in our hearts, if we are to survive with our futures intact and whole.
But it’s so hard, honey. Because I’m more than a little bitter. And angry. And drowning in these tears. I want to ring the bell and break the damned thing all at the same time.
I know. Chicken, egg. Caterpillar, butterfly. Got it, Babe. Chin up. Keep smiling. I will. Just like you. For you.
Miss you. Love you. Wish you were here.