Marked cards and letters,
filling the top drawer
in a polished credenza.
Two years, correspondence
and poems and notes of love and want.
He remembered the gate
to her front door, through the garden –
Lavender and Rosemary and Basil,
the scent immaculate,
like the scent in the top drawer,
tainted letters with perfume –
Chanel No.5, Madame Rochas and Style.
Now in poor health, at St Augustine’s,
his memories become shadows
on a wall, the ward peaceful and serene,
hallucinations of his time in the barracks,
the stepping out parade,
and how beautiful she was,
his passing imminent.