The sun will be beating down on the castine,
And those cigales
They’ll still be chirping to a beat.
There will be the sound of warm breeze
Filtering through the verdant trees
And here and there
A lone leaf will flutter down,
By the vicious Summer heat.
The lavender plants will have grown woody
But will still be visited by gently buzzing bees.
And in the lower field, from time to time,
A fractious sheep
Its baffled note will bleat .
Between these the paving stones of nature –
Will be the cracks
Silences of wondrous, bewildering heat,
And Light …
Ultimately most divine
Blinding with all its might.
Yet in the shady spot between house and rocks,
Where the leaves from Winter, dried and brown,
Create a carpet for phantom feet,
There is a spooky cool
That you cannot ignore.
Vigorous weeds are enjoying a freedom
They never had –
The front door closed that last and dreadful time.
On the outside
The door will be baking hot in the West’s afternoon sun –
Too hot to touch.
Too hot to handle.
While inside –
On the cool bed,
Incomplete for any travel
Lies an open suitcase.
It is squidging up the dusty sheet.
A ladies pantie – vainly enticing –
Its lacy edge halfway in and halfway out –
hangs, languidly, over the case’s edge.
Denied darkness, the room is illuminated
By a shaft of sunlight
Through the dried wooden shutters.
Nothing stirs inside. Not even dust motes. The air is motionless.
There is a drinking glass
Still beside the bed.
Evaporated over time,
Has left a ring of white
To show its former level.
And the pillows still display depressions
Showing where their heads had lain.
The house has a stillness. An emptiness.
A darkened lounge with deadened TV;
Kitchen with silent clock at ten past three;
Staircase now too old to creak in vain.
Only the bathroom tap has life.
As it drips,
Once a day –
To mark the passing time.
Each drip a tear for what was
And for what might have been
Who on Earth could say?
Had he not slipped on the staircase.
All those months ago .
Had she not found it intolerable to stay
Breathing the same air they’d shared.
Had she not shivered,
In the heat,
When scattering his grey dust
To make hallowed gravel paths
After he had taken that …
One step forward in time.
© Allen Ansell 2009, 2021