Tuesday, 19 July 2011

National Savings and Investments

You saved

Monte-Carlo tickets in a leather case,
the reminder of Princess Grace, and
your hurried, graceful attire.
You saved old man’s beard
as a memory of the time in summer
when afternoon turns to evening
and he kissed your hair from behind
and tucked fallen leaves behind your ear.
You saved the four-leaved clover
you found as a girl and
tucked away in a papier-mâché egg,
in those days when whimsies were made of paper
(and you saved the luck that it brought).

You saved

your grandmother’s tea-set,
and your father’s quicksilver sketches.
You saved the privation of your upbringing
in your bones and in your way
of squeezing the last from every foil tube
and neatly rolling the end, snail-shelled and tight.
You saved the memory of heat rising,
tarmac-scented, from damp Cardiff streets,
and saved the light where sky touches sea
in the irides of your eyes. Even near the end,
the light shone back. Even near the end,
all these things were saved, in you.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Night Migration

Walking through the darkness,
a cotton ghost,
a blind-bird stick figure,
arms raised like the hopeful come for healing.
No light to guide you. No light at all.
The night is a softness that sucks in sound.
The night is a translucent cloth that allows in air
but not certainty. Not faith.
The carpet beneath your feet,
moth-furred beneath your shuffling toes.
The wall sudden. Hard against shoulder, hip, thigh.
The paper’s pattern turned to something cold.
The plaster unyielding behind thin skin,
the plaster all you feel, cold all the way down,
and the skin meaningless.
Your skin meaningless. The thud of your heart
and the slow, short intakes of breath
and the bones beneath your skin
all that you are.
Until you reach the ark of light.
Until you reach an island, and fall,
safe in my sleeping arms.