Ends of eras sail
thick and fast
through plump and wrinkled fingers.
Recently-single woman pawn their wedding rings
for cheap holidays in Palma,
Loosening the umbilical tether
to their sons who
grow beards and leave home for the city
And unblessed passion.

A polka-dotted bikini acknowledges
her white belly hanging over a wished-for waist line.
The old elastic stretches decades.
She raises the blinds on her window
And faces the midday sun,
One blue eye stares in awe at the ticking clock,
(unaware of where the time has gone)
while the other looks down on disappointingly ruddy legs
which hint of yesterday's steel and strength.

Occasionally feeling lost,
she feels her way home along a thready map,
crawling the length of her thigh,
routes criss-crossing one another in a barren
tangle of love knots.

Every morning,
She sits on sandy beaches watching the spines of ribby children turn nut brown,
she finds that she would like to brush the sand from between their toes
and smell the sunshine in their hair.
A deep maternal cry and hum from somewhere ancient rears up and kicks.
She rummages through her past, picking up and warming smooth pebbles with perfect holes
And spells out her son's name for restless waves to stroke.
Later, she jumps into an ocean of reminisce, staying afloat all day, until shivering,
She heads to the shore to be towel dried by the memory of her mother's hands.
The smell of coconut lotion
and the oily heat makes the
gnaw and throb.
Deciding on change,
She walks mossy paths to a cool wood
where thrashing through the sleepy under-growth
she blows at dead dandelion burrs, trying to catch
the seeds of dreams as they drift gently to earth.

By night
She builds a dry and woody pyre,
a sculpted epitaph
to rekindle a moment or ignite a face.
all those beating hearts and buzzing minds with good ideas,
forgotten and remembered and forgotten again.
all those earth-bound bodies
loved so well with no returning.

She sings psalms in her sleep,
A sprig of lavender between her toes,
and finds no time to weep.

(May 2007)