Soft stones

Strawberries sitting on hillsides, it is

just after a train crash and

all is silent when they meet

a phone rings but he does not pick it up.

 

She de-ices winter also, claims

nothing but that it does not matter if

to him The Milky Way leads nowhere

and bells sound mornings in.

 

Heaps are growing on ground, again,

and somewhere mid-air

silvery shades dance as she puts his hands

to span her stretched navel.

 

All the distances he ever walked join

one another and two-quarters

of a circle further down he takes

pictures of a scream, emerging skull.

 

Suns still set and toilets still flushed

as she made waves, again and again,

squeezing sand through an hourglass

the mother became.

 

It had nothing to do with them then;

Crashes and Quakes and Faint

suggestions in creamy bathroom mirrors

he never mentioned, and she

never told him about pebbles

screaming to her from beaches,

curling up between them in bed.

 

Now growing a stubble he leaves for days.

And she sits around in a big gown

listening … as the paperboy makes his round.

It might have got something to do with

the circles in which we stand, helpless.

 

The last breath of a child,  the two

of them there, left behind.

He closes his dental practice.

She goes back on the pill.

He misses the pain he causes

more than the teeth to fill.

She wishes there was something

else than time to kill.

 

She puts her hand to the radiator

but it is always cold.

She tries to call him

who does not answer

ignoring her breath

like the ice ferns.

In her dreams he is a stone.

 

She stays inside, fills a thermos

to see her through the winter

watches millions of flakes fall

yet fail to cover ground.

His hibernation is in skin

that razors can not touch.

Trembling under cherry trees

his memories refined.

 

She used to pose to make turbans turn

and flip flop across any market

in no time to embrace him in words

about mangoes, cardamom and

wherever next to go.

 

Autumn leaves fall again, paint vivid

premonitions, touch faces as they pass

not picking up on such simple clues

with disarranged hair, dishpan hands.

His bike is in the shed.

All needed is some air.

She is still, there.

Only the cupboards are talking

helped by a perfect Johnny Walker

to her head against the table.

 

His head turns at the traffic lights

where a woman in a pink over-coat

crosses the street, slowly

before through the cold she floats.

He is frozen, feeling sick,

and starts to melt

then and there

In another part of town

white sheets wave the winds

to move on by.

 

They are nearly there

(time is a ring, an oval)

Two ice-cubes sliding down

the slow unlearning-curve of life.

In the midst of it all

she is shaken

fumbling through the debris

looking up, on her floor

stands not the paperboy.

He takes her hand and leads her

(with thermos and two cups and saucers)

up steep narrow stairs.

Outside, lifting his chin to the air

he throws the question out –

Where does heaven begin?

But is already there.

 

The sound of dainty china

She says I am only starting to fathom

then lets out a laughter to share.

A child is walking now, slowly,

along a beach, zigzag

between stones that are orange

then throws one in the air.

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One thought on “Soft stones

  1. elscorten says:

    It’s like a story to me (every verse was like a page I couldn’t wait to turn over to see what was next), a love story where life hands out great difficulties. But there is release in the end and life can continue to flow.

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