What a beautiful thing it is to have loved.
To stand next to a Japanese maple tree slowly
dying and admire the burgundy stars
shimmering on its branches in sunlight.
To hold a father’s unsteady hands as the
breath ebbs out of him on an uncertain night.
To dig through rubble, fresh and still warm from
the bomb that fashioned it, for your daughter’s
missing doll. To chat with your friend’s
granddaughter over Whatsapp, epistles of
encrypted affection. To think of your daughter’s
face, now in prison, with a trembling heart and
a colourless smile. What if you don’t make it until
she’s freed? To let go. Of a withering Japanese
maple, your father’s sentience, the head of your
child’s lost doll, the hope to see your daughter again.
To have loved is to make peace with loss even though.
To have loved is to know the insolence of desire.