Suggesting a different season,
breeze through a classroom window
seems to take us back to his question:
‘When you’re happy, why bother to write?’
Does the bookshelf’s scarred parade bear him out?
Can happiness survive murderous dissection?
Only just too late, as students file away
over cypress-shadowed lawn,
I remember that day a few months before –
how, having climbed between stone houses
to the monument, we sat looking out
across rooftops, gardens, from the shade.
And yes, perhaps, there’s nothing need be said,
but here I am again, returning to coffee
in paper cups, scribbling down details,
happy all right to be trying to retrieve
the sweetness of those late-summer grapes.