Loss, in Five Acts
Through a dark tunnel
of bent birch and cedar I walk.
Soft moss on cobblestone. Home.
The tilted bird bath drips with
tea coloured rain. Vines snake up
old walls even as the sandstone crumbles.
Decaying gutters sag with sad, welcoming
smiles, heavy with dead leaves
and the fallout of terracotta tiles.
On her lap, in the evening, swinging
on the front porch chair. Humming
a lullaby, she whispers softly and
marks with a brush of her ringless finger,
magpie and minor, chicken and hen
and then, soft kisses on my cheek for bed.
At the bus stop, she is squinting and waving
and waiting. At hometime, she is feeding the
pigeons every last crumb from my lunchbox.
The garden beds sit like unkept graves,
clutching the roots of dead roses. Row after row
of thorny crucifix. Anemic and budless.
Were they red or white or pink?
That memory is dim. Perhaps something
more obscure. Champagne or chartreuse.
A sudden notion. Todays bl