Carol Ann Duffy


Away from you, I hold hands with the air,
your imagined, untouchable hand. Not there,
your fingers braid with mine as I walk.
Far away in my heart, you start to talk.

I squeeze the air, kicking the auburn leaves,
everything suddenly gold. I half believe
your hand is holding mine, the way
it would if you were here. What do you say

in my heart? I bend my head to listen, then feel
your hand reach out and stroke my hair, as real
as the wind caressing the fretful trees above.
Now I can hear you clearly, speaking of love.