Memories of an Old Man in Exile

Who can bring me back the scent
That was riding on the breeze
By a fountain far away
On an evening long ago
As the girl with golden hair,
Dipping fingers in the flow,
Laughed and spoke a word to me?

Who can bring me back that word
Whispered in a distant tongue
Which the flight of many miles
And the stretch of many years
Silenced into memory?

Who can bring me back the girl?
She is vanished as the scent,
Insubstantial as the word,
And as bygone as the breeze.

If a silvered woman lives
To recall what I recall,
She’s not she and I’m not he;
We’re not they who loved and played
On that evening long away
By that fountain far ago.

© 2022 Sarah van der Pas
Photo by Anastasiya Chervinska on Unsplash