Joys That Sting
--on the death of his wife
"Oh doe not die", says Donne, "for I shall hate all women so". How false the sentence rings.
Women? But in a life made desolate, it is the joys once shared that have the stings.
To take the old walks alone, or not at all, to order one pint where I ordered two;
To think of, and not to make, the small, time honoured joke, senseless to all but you.
To laugh (oh, one'll laugh), to talk upon themes that we talked upon when you were there,
To make some small pretense of going on: be kind to one's old friends, or seem to care
While no one (O God) through all the years will say
The simplest common word in just your way.