Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dawn Bruce: ‘ALONE’

It should have been a grey wintry day of low clouds, a time for comfort in mohair jackets and the smell of wood fires … if it had to be a day. Night would’ve been better, a shawl of twilight, softer than gossamer lace, a tenderness to send him into and away.

But it is a sharp sunlit morning, all bustle and billowing with the cheerfulness of bird chirpings and the fresh scent of water from next door’s hosing.

Thud thud thud … the boots of the men as they carry him downstairs. I stay where I am, let the others see him off, out the door for the last time, past the lavender bushes and rosemary, down the broken tiled path.

When I hear the van drive off I go upstairs, into our room and pull back the curtains. Light invades every corner.

bedside table
the glint then blur
of his spectacles

As morning slips into afternoon, shadows smudge the edge of sunshine to dull. I close the door and walk downstairs.

There are things to do, I’m told, but first they give me a cup of tea and make soothing noises.

tea leaves . . .
in the courtyard a rising
of white butterflies

by Dawn Bruce
Sydney, Australia
first published in
Yellow Moon 20 (Summer 2006)

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