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From the archives — An Ordinary Tale of Loss — Paula Grenside

An Ordinary Tale of Loss

She doesn’t believe in myth, her faith falters, the crucifix oozes with death,
no comfort from it. She doesn’t live nor does she die, sits on his chair, feels
her face pale or blush. A cormorant shrieks, the shriek makes a hole
in the window pane, in her skull. The ocean slaps bones and his corpse
out its belly. She has walked through years like ages: the stone, the bronze,
the iron, then iron ore, then lack of grass from the shaven ground. She has talked

through years, argued temptations, overcome mourning and anger,
not love though, over loved, didn’t shun. She tells her tale to guests when they come
and put in a night, talks counting the bulges on the wallpaper,
an assessment of the eye, counts the nights, his laughter,
the accumulation of words till movements lose the name
of action, their yesterdays slow down, stop.

The shriek deepens in the skull, the sharpness strips her; memories clutter
and fall on water-books, scatter around the chestnut tree, her legless chair.

by Paula Grenside

from Autumn Sky Poetry Number 1, March 2006

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim


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