Poem — Elspeth Sandys

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Yesterday I went to your house
Wondering, as it is empty now,
If I would meet the ghost of the life I too lived there
 
But what I met was bush where my garden used to be
Lichen embroidering the walls
A palimpsest of moss and weed on steps leading nowhere now
 
A weightless house
Glimpsed through windows latticed with supplejack
Glass murky as a mangrove swamp
 
Perhaps it’s best this way
 
Encountering your voice whispering the words for love
Your eyes demanding new words to describe the colour blue
Your breath, when words were done, mingling with mine
Your footsteps measuring the distance between us
Would have meant I too was caught in supplejack
Bound in slippery fronds of fern
Tossed down buried paths, lethal as ice
Into the arms of your ghost
Juggling with busy fingers the many meanings of your life

 

Elspeth Sandys

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