Love After Love
by Derek Walcott
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
I love this poem. It captures so beautifully the longing and ache of recovering from heartbreak, and the joy of rediscovering yourself after you have been buried in someone else for so long. Or even if you haven’t experienced this kind of heartbreak, the world has such a way of ripping your heart to shreds in whatever way it can.
Oh, and if you’re more of an auditory person than a visual one, here’s a lovely voice doing a lovely reading: