Our bedroom is flickering with the film
I thought we would watch. Except
you had to go; the pressure of a night shift
pulsing in your temples.
My silent mobile glows greenly -
a cat's eye in the dark.
And I wonder: are you thinking of me now?
Little one, I need you to know
that after your passing they rubber-wheeled me,
sedative-muzzy, through corridors squeaky with sterility;
past a red blur of tiny scrunched faces
squealing their needs, shrieking for feeds,
past wards that chattered with motherly gossip.
And a white silent loneliness fell like snow.
Today, loneliness is scalding, not cold.
I am kneeling on acres of butter-gold
carpet, packing the last of your clothes.
Your cologne's spice lingers on my fingers.
The rosemary you gave me has withered like your love:
its sad spindles are brittle bird bones.
Our home has become my home.
The loneliness, the isolation
of an isolate, small, black name
on a small, black line, in a book of remembrance
at the crematorium.
Grief's cold mask is smothering my face.
I still feel your breath in everything I do.
I wonder if you breathe my essence, as I breathe you.
for 'Faces of Loneliness' contest