Delighted to say that Patricia Oxley at Acumen has accepted my poem ‘Hazel’ for publication in Issue 89 in September.
Even now, of course, the memory still very moving – see poem below…
(I) Blue Jacket
She reads to me
from the book I bought her:
Beatrix Potter, Peter Rabbit.
She is eighty-seven
And I am fifty-six.
She used to call us her little bunnies.
Now, holding the soft toy,
she is trying to die.
She breathes, shallow, sometimes she smiles, mostly she points
to her mouth, wanting water, but can hardly drink
more than tiny drops, even then she seems to choke…
barely able to swallow. I could not kiss her yesterday.
I want to cradle her, in the hope she may be restored
but she’s too tender to hug the bones in her skin,
time crumbling within, stretching to the edge of all that is.
Today she is history – I notice age in everyone.
The toy in her wicker casket, passing through the flame.
It’s quiet now – she’s gone.
I cannot find or reclaim her –
the artist’s brushes and canvas
will not live for her again.
I want to inhale colour and composition,
breathe time and texture,
connect across a wash of pigment
to something even more than life.