Your house huddled under low, mauve December dusk.
Negotiating the five ice-glazed steps, cautiously quiet,
silently twisting the key in the lock,
stealthy as a thief at midnight.
Invading your personal domain,
helpless secret-stealer, what other could I do?
A cold dissolution hung in the air,
a dead dust-light on once familiar belongings.
Switched to auto, my lonely hands
sorted a secret stair cupboard stash:
lavender Spode and swirling Cloisonne.
Your must-speckled books had opened like orchids
but your ghost-gloves lay lifeless,
bereft of the blunt, practical hands.
Desolation looked out on the garden,
frost-frozen: the crumbling corpse wall,
the raspberry leaves clamped in their little ice-shells,
waiting for their summertime rubies, those jewels of July,
and waiting for you, your deft, natural touch.
Silence laid a stilling hand on quotidian objects
as I laid your life away in boxes.
I didn't hear your loneliness
when it pushed at the door, insistently.
Seroxat and Liebfraumilch kept you company.
Why didn't you persist?
What triggered the retreat back into yourself?
All through the hushed dusk of December and sleet storms of January
I lay with your loss, under spattering rain,
my winter fragmented, its ice-prism shattered -
my actions mere string-jerkings of the puppeteer Grief.
Loved And Lost Poetry Contest
Copyright © Charlotte Puddifoot | Year Posted 2023