My wife is behind me
And my life before.
The sky lit from inside itself
With golden dying day.
And turning again.
We are sailing east
Towards a dawn
That has not yet risen and will not
Til terrors past absolve us
Of having left at all.
Ithaca, sharpening blue
And deepening silver,
My house just one
In our city stretching out the coast.
My father buried there, his dust
Rising in flowers touching heads to dew.
My nurses there, their old hands threading
At baby clothes, sat in sun smiling wrinkled.
Ithaca I can feel you holding back.
Something in me will not come with me.
It will stay murmuring in the cypress,
It will croak with the cicadas at night,
It will live with the snakes in the sand and the gulls on the water.
They cannot move a weight of water.
Ithaca I promise
I have never and will never leave you
Even as winds blow me on
Into the rose red grasp
Of this first dawn alone.
Rachel is a London-based poet. She was previously a poetry editor for the Mays Anthology and a Young Producer with Poet in the City. Her poetry can also be found on the Poetry Society website, in the Dawntreader and Kindling journals, and unpredictably at live events around London.