To E


To E
by Sara Teasdale

The door was opened and I saw you there
And for the first time heard you speak my name.
Then like the sun your sweetness overcame
My shy and shadowy mood; I was aware
That joy was hidden in your happy hair,
And that for you love held no hint of shame;
My eyes caught light from yours, within whose flame
Humor and passion have an equal share.

How many times since then have I not seen
Your great eyes widen when you talk of love,
And darken slowly with a fair desire;
How many time since then your soul has been
Clear to my gaze as curving skies above,
Wearing like them a raiment made of fire.


I’m not sure who the “E” in Sara Teasdale’s life was, but I know who the five E’s that have been in my own life. Three are no longer of this earth. One I lost back in November, and I mourn the loss of my greatest confidant and friend each and every day. The antidepressants and anti-anxiety medicine that I take keeps away the darkest of thoughts that I still feel, but they only keep them at a distant shadow. The other two were my father’s parents. I lost Grandaddy first nearly fifteen years ago, and Grandmama nearly three years ago. I think of the three of them all the time. Grandmama and my friend E, I think of everyday.  The two of them loved me unconditionally. True unconditional love is a rare thing to every find.

Another E was a great companion and boyfriend who I gave up for a new life and new job. Luckily, we have remained friends, and I still keep in touch with him. The other E is my sweet little Edith, a bobtail calico kitten who I remember looked into my eyes when I went to rescue her from an animal shelter. She is a loyal and sweet friend who I wish was here in Vermont with me, but she is safely living the life of a queen with my aunt.

Five E’s that I love. Five E’s that I miss. Five E’s that I will see again. Three in heaven, two when I return to Alabama.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

One response to “To E

  • jacki perrette

    Awesome poem! I also liked your thoughts on your five Es.

    (This made me wonder about your former neighbor. I know she was getting on in years.)

    My own wonderful neighbor, who was still living on her own at age 97, passed away two weeks ago. We knew she was terminally ill for a couple of months and had time to visit with her and say farewell. She was lucid to the end. The day she died she had been visiting with a relative, then she said she was tired and going to take a nap. She never woke up. The blessing was there was time for family, friends and neighbors to visit her. When I last saw her she told me she loved me and I was able to tell her the same.

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