Death of a Spouse


Then the flowers opened their palms towards the nesting birds,
browning, warm, stuck with mud and pigeon down; he, the last,
remains wrapped in his Magdalene carousel. Twin forks of the swallow tail.
Motionless, same as the soft steps of the tawny fox – pacing upon typing
tippy-toes; ones we wish gone and away with the death of winter, but snub
our green-lit patches with tenfold cubs –

                                                                     the blur of ice and the pond,
the bending of knees to meet the Buddleja, nature’s surreptitious bed-linen.
All around us now. Same as parched tongues and the wagging tails of bumble
bees, rotation, rotation
                               and O how the truth of cold’s meaning sews it’s way through, when
fingers meet with the secret stowed beneath the soil: a black toothed comb
with the moon in it’s hollow; lost when the sky peached over and she threw her arms
towards the clouds, the ripe lamp of death lit under her feet, never again
to ask you of the bend of Orion,
                   nor a sip from your cup.

© Eve Redwater 2012

(It’s been a while, I hope you’ve all been well. University has kept me busy this week, so it’s nice to be back!)

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37 thoughts on “Death of a Spouse

  1. This is beautiful. The thing that strikes me the most about your writing is the diction. When you use things like tippy-toes… makes me think of my mother.

  2. I read this out loud with the best british accent I could do, because I just felt that poetry like this should be read with a british accent, because it’s so beautiful. Both, the accent, as well as your writings. Fantastic job, Eve.

  3. How clever this is. I love all the unexpected pairings, transforming common images into something new and unexpected. I read all the way through, loving it and wondering all the way. Now I’ve read it again and still find it spell-like.

  4. This is beautiful and clever, like Yousei Hime, who is also a great poet, says. Poem after poem after poem you conjure the earth into your lines in creative lines that sing with power. This is so, so good.

  5. I’ve missed you too, but then *I’ve* been gone from here as long as you have and more. Time slips away from us all. As you tell it so poignantly in this poem, in fact.

  6. That last line felt as if fingers dipped into my heart and ripped it open, as the hands dug for the comb and raised to the sky remembered and grieved. Such poignancy so gracefully shown, the comparison of ice to bed linens suggested so much – the comfort of bed, yet the ice that remains hen that comfort is gone. Oh, I could read this for hours and see it differently each time.

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