Anne Hathaway


‘Item I gyve unto my wief my second best bed…’

(from Shakespeare’s will)


The bed we loved in was a spinning world

of forests, castles, torchlight, cliff-tops, seas

where he would dive for pearls. My lover’s words

were shooting stars which fell to earth as kisses

on these lips; my body now a softer rhyme

to his, now echo, assonance; his touch

a verb dancing in the centre of a noun.

Some nights I dreamed he’d written me, the bed

a page beneath his writer’s hands. Romance

and drama played by touch, by scent, by taste.

In the other bed, the best, our guests dozed on,

dribbling their prose. My living laughing love –

I hold him in the casket of my widow’s head

as he held me upon that next best bed.



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