Epilogue Found in the Diaries of the Widow Rochester
(Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë)
by Rose Mary Boehm

Yes, reader, I married him.
A short while after our son was born
his obsessions began, and I recognized
his first wife’s despair. Edward, even though
no longer completely blind, did not ever fully regain
his sight and distrusted the world and me.

My marriage became darker and darker
until I reverted to calling him “Mr. Rochester.”
At moments it was as though a beam of sunlight
filtered through the curtains of foreboding
and I would take heart, only to be plunged
once more into the deepest gloom. One starless
night Mr Rochester fell off his horse and broke
his neck. Since then guilt has been my companion
and melancholy covers me like a heavy blanket.

Still, I can hear my children playing under the trees.
Occasional laughter drifts my way. We are blessed.

PHOTO: (Left)  The poet when Laura Ashley was all the rage and romanticism back in vogue.(Right) Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre in the 2011 movie.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I often wondered about what happens AFTER the happy end (even though we get relatively few of those in what’s considered “literary fiction”). The fairytale endings “…and they lived happily ever after” had me imagining Princess XYZ with her hands in the suds and the bonny Prince drunk in the nearest inn. Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester are also almost too good to be true, even though I hated doing this to her after she’d already had such a rough time of it.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A German-born U.K. national, Rose Mary Boehm lives and works in Lima, Peru. Author of TANGENTS, a poetry collection published in the U.K. in2010/2011, over 150 of her recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in a good two dozen U.S. poetry reviews (online and print), and a new poetry collection is earmarked for publication in 2016 the U.S.