Being unwise enough to marry her
I never knew when she was not acting.
‘I love you’ she would say; I heard the audiences
Sigh. ‘I hate you’; I could never be sure
They were still there. She was lovely. I
Was only the looking-glass she made up in.
I husbanded the rippling meadow
Of her body. Their eyes grazed nightly upon it.
Alone now on the brittle platform
Of herself she is playing her last role.
It is perfect. Never in all her career
Was she so good. And yet the curtain
Has fallen. My chamber, come out from behind
It to take the applause. Look, I am clapping too.
by R. S. Thomas
from H’m (1972)