De Composition

Well I’ll be damned, here comes your ghost again. You’re soaring well, my darling, shimmering with your usual restrained but irrefutably disturbing insistence, trickled with a necklet of twinkling diamonds.

Ah, my lovely, glittering ghost.

You are an ever present apparition in my life, in what remains of what was once your life as lived by me, now. I will always embrace your ethereal presence, even if it is, occasionally, inopportune.

Remember the day I remarried? You hovered above the steeple of the Payne County Community Church. It was Claire’s church but I went along with the ceremonial excesses. As she and I exchanged vows, I recalled how deeply I had once loved you, how you would have never succumbed to the formality, the pomp and the stricture which she embraced.

I selfishly permitted that affectionate memory of you to intrude on Claire’s moment and, though I regret my lapse, I would probably do it again, such is your hold on me.

You and I were bound together for such a short eternity, wedded on the cliffs of Big Sur, humbled and entranced by the wind, the sea, the last lines of Robinson Jeffers exquisite poem, Love the Wild Swan.

You chanted it so well, our song of forever. And those last lines, At least love your eyes that can see, your mind that can hear the music, the thunder of the wings. Love the wild swan.”

Ah, my wild spectral swan! I will be damned, won’t I?


My story, De Composition, came to life in response to Ronovan Writes prompt challenge # 11. The prompt was to take the first line of a favourite song and begin a 300 word or so story. In case you are not familiar with the lyric I begin with, this explains…

Diamonds & Rust is a song written and performed by Joan Baez. It was written in November 1974 and released in 1975.

In the song, Baez recounts an out-of-the-blue phone call from an old lover, which sends her a decade back in time, to a “crummy” hotel in Greenwich Village; she recalls giving him a pair of cuff-links, and summarizes that memories bring “diamonds and rust.” Baez has stated that the lyrics refer to her relationship with Bob Dylan