John F. McCullagh

(09/28/1954 / Flushing)

(It Was) A Very Good Year.


My minds image of my Ellen
Is like a rose preserved from time.
Or like a treasured bottle
from a vintage year for wine.

I am haunted by her memory-
How our fingers intertwined.
The fragrance of her body
as I held it close to mine.

I was Mars and you were Venus
your head rested on my chest.
A summer rain began to fall
persuading us to dress.

Now just the shadow of your smile
Brings tears to a dry place.
Funny how my heart can race
Within the ghost of your embrace.
.

You are unchanging, therefore perfect
Your aspect is divine.
I believe our year was vintage-
for love, if not for wine.

(Fifth poem in the Ellen cycle, A summer picnic at Planting Fields, Arboretum in 1979. It was a picnic, marked by a brief rain, where we shared a bottle of Mouton Rothschild)
.

Submitted: Sunday, October 24, 2010
Edited: Wednesday, September 14, 2011

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Comments about this poem ((It Was) A Very Good Year. by John F. McCullagh )

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  • Lillian Thomas (1/30/2011 6:06:00 PM)

    sad yet moving. The endurance of love over the years. nice imagery and rhyming too, though some is more assonance than rhyme. (Report) Reply

  • Kalee Skriver (10/26/2010 9:47:00 PM)

    This poem is so touching, I am compelled to cry for the loss of this evidently enchanting woman. You have such a deep perception for the parallel of the wine and your love for her. I love this. (Report) Reply

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