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Please do not ask

If I am now recovering

Or if I see the light

At the tunnel’s end.

Nor speak about relief — or burdens lifted.

And, worst of all, new starts.

Please, please don’t ask

If I am getting through —

Have come to terms

Or find my life is back on track.

Of course I live each day to each

And gladly smile

My coping, to “prepare a face

To meet the faces that you meet”.

What else is there to do?

In any case, you would not want to know

The daily loss that lasts eternally.

Just, please, don’t ask.


Written by Frances Gibb  after the death of her husband. Quoted by Matthew Parris in today’s Times (£)




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