She's Waiting Out Her Time

Like the lapwing's nest, lost
in identical acres of secret greens,
the sun was out of sight today.
It was there, sure enough, though undefinable,
straining its light through filtering cloud;
creating a residue of dismal damp.

The horizon had strolled in
to play charcoal shading with the trees,
misting the steaming Friesians
that stood, statuesque, in their indifference;
thoughtless in that sullen, summer field.

How the vacancy of bovine stares
seemed a blessing on such a day.

And there walked the widow, head bowed;
colour-drained, washed-out flowers
held close to a warm, yet unprotecting breast.
Lady-in-waiting to memory;
treading her daily path
like a lonely child, wandering home,
mouthing ventriloquistic conversations
of protective, inner comfort.

For there he lay, the latest arrival
at an old friends' gathering,
wrapped in shrouding, wooden wings
whose ivy feathers bowed
a dripping, heavy welcome
over the cherished, grey stone
that anchored her to him.

He was a tall man, even in old age.

He'd gone down like a giant redwood,
taking her and their last bag
of cut-price groceries with him.
Fifty-five years, then two became one.
There, in the lane,
as a can of marrow fat peas
rolled back to a puzzled shop door.

'Strange thing, he never did like peas.'
That's what she said.
She's waiting out her time now.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2017

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