Letter to Sally

My Beloved Sally,

Memories of that glorious Summer evening in June of  ’95 are never far away.We’d spent the previous week sitting by the log—Sally’s log-remember? The sycamore had come down with a thud, its branches cut off for firewood which would keep us warm when winter came and you lay by its fire. You were gone by then.

The huge log remained where it had fallen, strong and sturdy like you had once been. We couldn’t move it and so it became ‘our log’—’Sally’s log’.

Those last weeks I spent with you by the log, listening to the sounds of Summer- you stretching out- your back gently fitting into its curve,were darkened, knowing we would say goodbye before June was out; and so I began to urgently tell you  how much you had meant to me, (I’d told you before of course) and you would drift to sleep while I gently stroked you.

I’d tell you of how excited I’d been when I met you for the first time thirteen years earlier, and how some years later we became exercise freaks, we would walk in Derbyshire content in each other—and of how sometimes you hounded after an invisible mischievous wind that might take you from my sight and that just for a moment I might fear of never seeing you again.

That last week, I told you of how I had told you things I’d never told anyone else. I told you that loving was forever, and when like an executioner I carried you to that place where the apples were starting to ripen, I remembered how you’d chase a windfall in September, and I knew that if you could have spoken you would have said that loving was forgiving.

The log has gone now.

Sleep well my friend where wind and rain and pellets of hate cannot reach you.

Lie still in leaves of dry brittle and let my footprints gently rouse you then to sleep again.