Hour Twenty-Four

The vision will die
if you do not rest,
if you do not give in to real dreaming,
the dream will end.

The light casts elegant shadows across the grass, the hedge
Dulled by the grey yesterday, the colours are radiant by contrast
Back to daylight, beginning again, for most

But, rest now
The vision will die,
The dream will end,
My friend, oh my friend.

Hour Twenty-Three

The green wingback chairs, the cookie drawer,
Sandwiches made with butter and honey,
The dinners and back rubs and lullabies under pale coverlets,
Gifts of precious time and of money.

Surprised by this saltwater
Out of sight, out of mind, is a powerful lie.

Hour Twenty-Two

Impossibly white, white skin
Black velvet skirt, cinched in

For whom does she turn her gaze –
the unseen partner locked in her eyes
or the one pulled in by their absence
– For whom does she turn.

The woman will ease out of the corset, release her hair.
The morning birds will trade their songs,

Hour Twenty-One

Staring up at the ceiling, asking silenced questions.
“What would you do if you could do anything?”

Staring up at the ceiling, making preparations.

Hour Twenty

The son has gone, the weeds grow
The daughter looks up,

discovers the weeds have become tall as trees
growing in a disarray,
through cracks,
along the foundations,
and reaching over the property line

She smiles at the sunlight passing through the leaves
– impish beauty.

Hour Nineteen

You’re fastening the buttons one by one,
or are you unfastening them?

On the edge of your bed, I’m mid-urging
– to what, I can’t say, I’ve lost track.
You have been the master of self-government,
but there you are.
It’s a complicated match.

Hour Eighteen

Up on the mountain,
far beyond the foothills
where nimbus clouds hide the cliffs from sight,
meet me, darling.

Hour Seventeen

She came to me some months ago
28.6km – a short night flight
She wore a burnt orange shift
and found me at a white banquet table, on a white chair
She said, as she always did, “I love you, darlin’”

I woke up crying
White sheets in a white room

I went to her some weeks ago
28.6km – bad traffic on a Friday afternoon
She was so thin, ever silent but aware
in the “Cadillac of wheelchairs”
A regal edge in her upturned chin, stubborn glare

After an hour or so, she was taken to bed
I put my hand on her head,

She flinched.

Hour Sixteen

Have you stopped to look closely
at the rolled-out insides of a crushed squirrel?
I did the other day. They were pale red, a mess, mundane.
I would have lingered longer,
but for my companion.
She was impatient for lunch.

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