Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Wishes for William

Wishes for William by W.M. Letts (1882 – 1972)

These things I wish you for our friendship’s sake –
A sunburnt thatch, a door to face the sun
At westering, the noise of homing rooks;
A kind, old lazy chair, a courtly cat
To rub against your knees;
Shelves of well-chosen books;
I wish you these.
I wish you friends whose wisdom makes them kind,
Well-leisured friends to share your evening’s peace,
Friends who can season knowledge with a laugh;
A hedge of lavender, a patch of thyme,
With sage and marjoram and rosemary,
A damask rosebush and a hive of bees,
And cabbages that hold the morning dew,
A blackbird in the orchard boughs – all these
And – God bless you.
Children, no matter whose, to watch for you
With flower faces at your garden gate,
And one to watch the clock with eager eyes,
Saying: “He’s late – he’s late.”


I thought of posting a pair of poems - this and another, titled "Good Bones" by Maggie Smith. But in the end, I decided on just this - partly because this poem has been so forgotten - it was by chance that I came across it in a comment thread. 

What I would hope - for myself, for my children, my husband, anyone - all of these. Particularly, I would hope for kind friends because I understand now that kindness is everything.