Death deepens me unfairly. Gone too
soon the days you could roll your eyes at
the unsuitable dress your unsuitable
mum was wearing with the red shoes.
Now the shoes themselves are
talisman. You touch them in your
trek for clean socks. I make your
world quieter. So much you never noticed:
The black hawthorns against the
black sky, the sinister rhododendron by
the front door. And next door the
woman hanging washing on the line.
Does she see how her body folds
in on itself, bending softly earthward
toward the new growth - crocuses,
violets, the ghostly blades of grass?
This was my favorite time of year.
I liked the sudden storms, the bluster
of turning earth. Blowsy as a woman in
her ninth month, I said to you once.
You stared, uncomprehending. Why am
I here? I watch as you paint
black circles around your eyes,
nail polish to stop the run in your tights.
There is so little I can do for you -
blow a breath on the back of your neck,
be the mist that hugs you, flash
my teeth from a passing bus window.
Instead, I trail distant, after,
willing you to enter the soggy garden,
stride the streets one after
the other. Breathe. Forget me.