[Image from No Dig Vegetable Garden]
[Inspired by Glowworm’s “Contrails”:]
Like waves dragged out to sea
on an ebbing tide,
she felt him
drawing away from her, inch by inch.
A creeping sense of loss
she wouldn’t allow to become
as inevitable as oceanic pattern.
his body didn’t contour as it used to
in bed at night, skin breathing the other’s
skin. A chill of a millimetre’s width
snuck between them as he fought
demons he didn’t care to share
She was losing him again.
this time it wasn’t her fault;
was entirely her fault.
As she sipped the coffee his mother
had bought for them, drank
the hot liquid from one of her mugs,
she watched him dig,
make war with the earth.
What had she done?
A thin pane of glass, rattling
against the buffeting breeze,
stood between them.
They may as well have been
The mug trembled in her hands
as she remembered the recent past;
and realised the potential future.
Alone, never to be together,
by forces intangible; lunatic.
She tried to understand, but
where to start when the catalyst
Placing the mug in the sink,
she gripped the kitchen counter top
with fingers curled like talons, as if
she could rip into its surface
for sustenance; for answers.
Outside, the shovel scraped a rhythm
for his sorrows, digging a shallow grave
for his happiness. She wept,
mourned what could have been;
what might never be permitted now.
Don’t leave me.
She’d thought the words more times
than she could remember, spoken them
only the once,
but her voice was insubstantial as
They each were dying, hand in hand.
[Copyright © N R Nolan 2015]