First published in August 2021
You come to look for me,
anxious, your dressing-gown flapping.
A summer night,
see-through dark, stars, Shasta daisies smiling moon-smiles,
geraniums velvet-black, a fat candle on the garden table,
its flame tearing ragged holes in the stillness.
you sit beside me on the slatted wooden chair,
(hard on a backside clad in pyjama bottoms) take my hand,
twirling its wedding ring round and round.
The silence is peppered
with small sounds, stems creaking,
a shuffle of slippers, the candle spluttering,
a petal falling.
The cat pads outside, jumps on your knee.
Stocks, nicotianas, lavender
and roses hanging from the archway trail love-letter scents across
the night air.
The flame sends a shiver
into the dark, gutters
to death’s door and blackness is absolute. I shiver too.