Thursday, 5 October 2017

Resting in pieces:

She has been dead these many years
and yet lives on still
in ways I cannot comprehend, not just the physical —
his lips, her eyes, their chins and a voice that drags me
all the way back to childhood

but other ways too
things like the damage done,
secrets that haunt in the cold evenings
sweats I pretend are the precursors
of flus and colds, and the linger
of a hand brushing my cheek
or a kiss on the top of my head;
lots of ways both good and bad
just like all manner of things

but not just that,
like once I saw her in a crowd
the bodies moving away and then she turned and waved
another time I smelt her when a washed sheet
flapped into my face
and if I look hard enough into the night
I catch sight of her at the periphery of my mind

and every time a plum falls from the laden tree
I hear her laughter
though I cannot fathom how or why

connections can be obvious and metaphoric

and the loved ones dead
are never truly dead
but haunt all the cracks and crevaces
from the hollows in our ears
to the spaces in our mouths

I walk with her in my dreams
and cry over words I know she has said
years after she passed
and the dirt placed on top of the casket
has had time to turn hard-edged
and grow the grass placed their like a welcome mat
so when she returns to her grave after visiting
she doesn't have to dirty her coffin —

she would not have liked that.

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