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Weaving and wearing a cowl of thin skin,

was she hiding, hindering, something within?

Subjecting, projecting, her porcelain mask,

was she caught and locked in a difficult task?


Bobbing along and floating around,

was she sick at the sight, sick of the sound?

Like a bucket somewhere, bailing out pain,

was she different, somehow, with another refrain?


Never back home, the wrong luggage left,

was her passport stolen and baggage bereft?

Was she Judy back when, a memory then,

punched and beyond before she was ten?


Does her hymn restrict? A potential release?

And swell in her throat, a silent mouthpiece?

A handful of ghosts haunting her space,

a nuance of dustsheets, a gliding white face.


A voice-like avoided, all left inside,

abided compliance with something to hide.

Performance in mime but knowing all along,

that some place and somehow, it was all gone wrong.


Depressed and decreased, a shawl thrown around,

detaching her threads, as they fell to the ground.

An ether-fed pigment of portraiture prized,

sun-shafted scene shifts, a look realized.


A profile once bloomed and solidified her,

hewn from the shadow cast out to deter.

But when mist-frosted sigh-sobs crystallized,

did her silhouette, pirouette, spin round surprised?


Sucked in confusions, poisoning the air,

possessed by lost voices, alone in despair.

Family ills bleeding, a sacrifice killed,

granite walls built, all stubborn and willed.


Back in the time when old nurseries rhymed,

did she live in a world where not enough chimed?

And living a lie and under a curse,

was her comfort stifled in want of a nurse?

Sermons and burdens repeated at home,

called out a rhythm and drumbeat on bone.

He lifted her drapes and peered under skirting,

tip-toed past buttons amongst the soft flirting.

When he answered her moans, while waiting at home,

did her little girl murmur, "Am I alone?".

A breath away, sighing, swallowing her last,

a gulp away, choking, a stomach pump fast.

Through memories lost and recesses sealed,

they snagged themselves sometimes on old days unhealed.

Time's ominous strain, where whisperers reign,

with no intimation: it's all been in vain.

Black sheep barbiturates poured out in haste,

straitjackets hovered enveloping waste.

Later, they clung and spun for a moment,

entwined and as one, seeking atonement.


The swirl of a scythe arced down on their rust,

as they pasted their tears, remnants of trust.

Were old myths re-tread to stave off the dread,

as they tucked down in slumber playing undead?


Their handheld encounters failed to behold,

a consummate union that refused to be bold.

No longer a journey a couple may take,

instead, a wrong turning, their final mistake.


He heard her intoning, "No belle of the ball,"

called out in yearning for a dance with a fool.

Or something forgotten in a far, distant twirl,

a boy simply smitten, cleave-clasped to a girl?


Held her just moments denying the end,

something unfinished, a cold, distant friend.

Past belief’s comfort, he slowly counts rings,

of time’s latent ageing felled wintering brings.


Empty, twigged fingers, far gone beyond seize,

in distant winds waving to crest-fallen leaves.

A destiny faded unable to please,

but alight

               in remembrance

                                       of two brilliant trees.


rilliant Trees: a Valediction

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