she is still waiting, that woman of dust,
cradled by age and silence. she knows
she should step out into her world
bursting with spring: but it is too
bright, too achingly full of colour and
the promises to herself she never kept.
no, she will wait a moment longer
to listen for the pluck of her heartstrings
and see all the things she might have
been dance across her eyelids. had she
been stronger, smarter, taller, braver, she
might have done all this
and more. and how can she let herself
forget that she didn't? now, she fears,
it is too late: her bones creak with the
weight of stories untold and she feels
her years leak on like a ship halting
into the night. she gazes absently around
at the small expanses of her world. a
dog, a faded wedding dress, a dozen
unopened letters, two chintz sofas
upholstered by unskilled hands.
she twists a ring round and round
please, darling, close the door.
no, darling, just a moment longer.
and then, maybe,
she will step outside,
smell the flowers of May,
and finally find her way home.