The day is coming when I will go to see
The beaches that hem the skirt of Normandy.
Seeking the ghosts of a time too brief,
I will walk the mountains on the Orne,
I will take from trailside a single leaf,
To teach me lessons of love lost, loss borne.
Let it be late summer, on the sunlit beach;
You will not be there, but I will seek you
In the crowd, your skin biscuit white, blue
Where the water chills it, fuzzed as a peach.
Let it be raining, light fall rain, when I drift
On the hills south of Caen, mouthing my leaf.
A dream of your hair, millet flaxen, gift
Memory gleans, trees' yellow, pillows my grief.
February 20, 1998