The Meadows, Kitchen Table

XXIV.	The Meadows

A storm is blowing through. Aidan.
Huge gusts shove children in the playpark,
they stagger – little sozzled people –
then regain their footing, run.
Shouts can’t be heard above the
blasting storm that rips through trees,
strips boughs, steals hats.
The pink curly wig on the girl 
with fishnet stockings is glued tight.
(Remind me, when did Hallowe’en
costumes become all sexy?)

Leaves swirl, rise like a flock of fowl
from water, lift in a ream, a flowing
stream, turning, eddying, yielding, 
falling upon me in a buttery blizzard.

A solitary man practices Tai Chi.
Wind barrels through his outstretched arms,
but he stands firm. Slow, steady, fluid,
he turns his anchored body
while I feel as though I might ride the gale
to Oz, or outer space, the moon,
leave all behind. I contemplate
his tranquil state and breathe a little deeper.

I watch a cloud scud by.

I will slither from this rutted month,
snake from my skin,
into new, clear winter light.

XXV.	Kitchen Table

Sparklers, a fire, hot soup, maybe song,
all that was the plan before it went agley
as plans aft do. Instead I’m back here
in my kitchen, clock ticking, turning,
marking out the days, the nights, the dates –
today’s: his birthday, fifth I’ve had without him.
I’ll never see him age. I’m glad of that
(sometimes), not to see his face cracked
like Japanese pottery, or my heart –
most people’s, truth be told, have hairline
fractures running through.

The dying pass on
their love before they leave,
they don’t need it anymore.

Listen to the whisper of
someone’s soul taking flight
in the wind tonight.
And it takes from me.
Blows dead branches
hanging on because
they don’t know what else to do.

So fall
and rot
and grow anew,
let winter
plait intention through
the darkness.

The hermit’s gone.
The flat is empty.
There’s no one at this kitchen table
but me.

The End

Edinburgh, A Long Poem

Eimear Bush (September-October 2020)

2 thoughts on “The Meadows, Kitchen Table

  1. Beautiful, the porcelain cracks are with us all. For others, lovers, and ourselves.

    Sending you Heaney is probably the ultimate in mansplaining. but the sexy Halloween line reminded me of the scary ambivalence that it used to evoke.

    Take care and stay well.


    It’s Hallowe’en. The turnip-man’s lopped head
    Blazes at us through split bottle glass
    And fumes and swims up like a wrecker’s lantern.

    Death mask of harvest, mocker at All Souls
    With scorching smells, red dog’s eyes in the night-
    We ring and stare into unhallowed light.

    Liked by 1 person

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