BEGINNING AGAIN

He has been standing a long time here,

putting on the woollen glove,

unable to separate the fingers.

Slowly, patiently, he pulls it on

and off, on and off.


Something has gone from him,


untraceable, gone with the moment

of sleep, caught in that chair, left

between the tight sheets of a hospital bed,

stilled within a photograph, a smile,

one hand resting on a hill-top cairn.


She has searched the house over

and over, checked in her mind

the chair, the bed, scoured

each worn album for a glimpse

of his face, his touch.


He has been standing a long time here,

putting on the woollen glove,

unable to separate the fingers.

Slowly, patiently, he pulls it on

and off, on and off.


She comes to show him how.

Searching the house over,

over, checks in her mind

the chair, the bed, each photograph,

his hands, his face.

From Still Breathing (Five Leaves, 2006)

© Cathy Grindrod