Recovery, by James Byrne
Let me imagine you coming home
from the dark, between body and mind.
Making evidence of yourself
the way a tree waves up from its shadow.
There are dinner-halls you have silenced
with a single spark of wit,
there are men you have governed
through pure scent, pure posture.
Now for your most difficult trick:
to restart a life that ends by turning into gold.
In September (the month that tends to all others)
let me be able to conjure your best side,
to have some kind of grip on the intactness
of living, the way mirrors do.
Lines from this have been floating round my head since July, when James Byrne read it at the John Hewitt summer school. Other poems and poets moved me more at the time, but I keep being drawn back to this one.
When I work out why, I’ll let you know.