Posted by Admin on 31 March 2008, 12:00 am

A vacant room: its fast-shut door
the symbol of finality – a chasm
of loneliness, where once an old
good-natured woman slept: the cache
of her possessions, prized but few –
some clothes, a sop to female pride,
some photographs, a shrine to youth,
to Linda, daughter of her child.
For me a penitential cell,
where I recall how often she essayed
to make my habitat a home –
would plan surprises: lay a gay
new cloth, or set for tea
our special china, patterned with
a Prussian prince and bride, in lake
and white: would warm my slippers by
the fire: anticipate my needs:
at evening knit, while I upon
the scaffold of ambition to create
would guillotine the hours.
In vain I try to flood the house
with music, rich symphonic sound.
Her silence stays unfilled, and I
re-live attempts to win her mind
to Richard Strauss, Stravinsky,
and to Bach.
With mock severity we played
our game of dominoes. We joked
attempting daily to disguise
the tragic-comedy of life.
A decade there she played the role
of mother – thrifty, house-proud, kind.
With catch-phrased nonsense we defied
the ghosts of other, brighter years.
In vacuo I sit alone, unwilling yet
to let a strange new form
displace the phantom in her chair.

T. C. Hudson

© T. C. Hudson.

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