by Alexander Merry
The Woman is clutching the receiver, a comfortable home around her,
Her Husband desperately needs the caller, "We must talk",
The voice of a long-dead brother radiates warm noise in the stadium of his cranium,
The scoreboard flickering erratically,
Memories of evenings past probe at his synapses,
The old man fuelled by his abandonment in the frosty hinterland,
"Why did you leave me here penniless ?".
Years had passed since they saw it,
Confused sentences, syncopated reminiscences,
Sunday lunches brought growing hunches,
Uncomfortable glances between siblings,
Beef carved, red wine, peculiar outpourings,
Silent drives home, broken by dismay.
In time, acknowledgement,
Smiles covering the face over hearts where emotions race,
Grandfather clocks tick sleepily in warm clinics,
Remembering keys, apples, pens,
Over and over again.
The others arrived, unseen by all,
The figure in the kitchen, lurking behind her,
His purpose nefarious, presence dubious,
A maid, the young sweetheart of golden stolen moments,
Identity now cast upon the breeze,
The Man's wandering, curtailed by kindness.
Son telephones Mother one grim night,
Father demanding the phone,
"Why did you leave me here penniless ?",
The Son, stunned, stands alone,
Screaming silently at the ghost in all of us.