Created by katiehumphrey almost 6 years ago
PoppiesThree days before Armistice Sundayand poppies had already been placedon individual war graves. Before you left,I pinned one onto your lapel, crimped petals,spasms of paper red, disrupting a blockadeof yellow bias binding around your blazer.Sellotape bandaged around my hand,I rounded up as many white cat hairsas I could, smoothed down your shirt'supturned collar, steeled the softeningof my face. I wanted to graze my noseacross the tip of your nose, play atbeing Eskimos like we did whenyou were little. I resisted the impulseto run my fingers through the gelledblackthorns of your hair. All my wordsflattened, rolled, turned into felt,slowly melting. I was brave, as I walkedwith you, to the front door, threwit open, the world overflowinglike a treasure chest. A split secondand you were away, intoxicated.After you'd gone I went into your bedroom,released a song bird from its cage.Later a single dove flew from the pear tree,and this is where it has led me,skirting the church yard walls, my stomach busymaking tucks, darts, pleats, hat-less, withouta winter coat or reinforcements of scarf, gloves.On reaching the top of the hill I tracedthe inscriptions on the war memorial,leaned against it like a wishbone.The dove pulled freely against the sky,an ornamental stitch. I listened, hoping to hearyour playground voice catching on the wind.