Ode To My Past-Life Wife

I came across a picture recently
of you, you and the baby,
and I was holding you both.
I was wearing a dark coat,
we were wrapped up warm,
it must've been winter,
or just a very cold place,
I don't remember...

In the picture you were smiling
that radiant, beautiful smile of yours.
The baby was asleep, peacefully.

Your face seemed Asian, or Native American,
or possibly Phillipino, broad, with high,
wide cheekbones, almond-shaped eyes,
framed by soft, straight, black hair.

Myself, I didn't really see, only my
shoulders and coat, I felt
the moment captured here held
all the bliss of my existence,
it was pure love, pure harmony,
it was perfection made eternal.
You – perfect. The baby – perfect.
Us together, a family – perfect.

I felt the deepest sense of gratitude
towards you, for existing,
for being you, for being my wife,
for choosing me to be your husband,
the father of your child, for giving
birth to my child, to our offspring,
the epitome, the incarnation,
the personification of our love,
our passion, our commitment
for each other.

I felt total bliss, total love,
total gratitude.

I am not sure what else happened
in that life, how things progressed,
how they ended, if we ever broke up,
if you died, or I, or the baby, or
if life just went on, eventlessly.

Did you know how much I loved
and appreciated you? Did I ever show?
Did I ever tell you how much you
meant to me? Or was that my omission,
the reason this image has come back
to haunt me now?

Still, there is no sense of grief or bad feelings
associated with that life for me.
But when I look at you now, think of
you, try to communicate with you,
it makes me weep. It fills me with
the deepest sense of loss of something
so precious, so perfect, so harmonious.

All you give me is grief, and upset
and a sense of being misunderstood,
cut off from my roots, cut off from you.

Where is that lovely, smiley, radiant,
warm, vibrant, fun-loving woman I
once knew and still love?
What hurt and pain has shrouded her soul
since our last encounter, to turn her
into the person you are now: cold,
self-centred, unknowable?
Do you not recognise me, or is
this really what you have become?!
Yet I still recognise your essence,
your potential, am haunted by that
radiant smile, knowing all the while
this is not you, no more, not this life,
yet knowing you makes me miss you,
my dearest, beloved, past-life wife!