Sunday, August 17, 2008

What they see by the light of candles

I was the old woman
visible to neighbours
only in conversations
on front porches
at the ends of driveways
glancing back to my darkened house
where I watched them from windows

onto the world, unseen because you can’t see inside
when the lights are out

they wonder when there is no garbage
on Sunday night
nor on Monday morning when the trucks pass by
they ask if I’m alive in here
or so I imagine

I’ll be found one day
when someone follows a nose
to the body, disintegration
escaping cracks in the mortar

when they find me, they’ll understand
something about garbage
the heap beside my unmade bed
the heap on the dining room table
shit overflowing the litter box
electricity shut off months before
those unopened envelopes in my mailbox

I know what they’ll ask
when the money is found
under the mattress
no one wants to touch
how you can’t stop someone
intent on not meeting the neighbours
under any light but that cast by candles

waving shadows on the bedroom wall



Anonymous said...

This is absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this with me. I adore this old woman and I mourn for her.

There is so much sad but beautiful music that sings here. The details of all the heaps tell a story that should be told. And that stanza before the last line is powerful...excellent. (I won't tell anyone until you do). But thank you again. I will enjoy this site so much!

hesperia said...

Thanks Julie. It's been a long time since I've been able to write poetry. It shows, I think. But whatever comes ...