Rugged petals. Dry and papery. 
Pressed as flat, as palms on glass.
Preserved between the pages,
the creases and crevices etched
in the yellowing parchment
of her memory.
‘Fresh’ she declares. ‘as the day first picked.’
Ambling through fields. With fingers threaded,
through the tender hand of her sister.

Grainy footage of a tape
labelled ‘Wedding’.
Glazed eyes blink. Blank.
Distorted sepia memories.
Scattered sparse.
Her white veil and corn silk hair.
Fraying edges. Tarnished with haze.
The crinkle and tear of her husband’s eye. 
Distant and vague
as the chiselled copper statues
milling the streets. Lost.
Burnt ashes flung far across the sea.
Clumped unreadable
last dregs of tea.

Sketchy pencil drafts remain
of the vast breadth of memories
painted on canvas.
The landscape of the past. Fragmented apart
into a kaleidoscope of scrambled 
jigsaw pieces.
A landscape daubed in watercolour. 
Pigment of anecdotes of her big brother.
Washed out. An over diluted blur.
Circles of paint 
drowned in the palette.
A black sea which ensnares 
her scroll in the bottle. Swallowed 
by the waves.
Cork unscrewed. Water let in. 
Sodden paper and bleeding ink.
Calligraphy reduced to illegible scrawl. 
Clear as hieroglyphics
engraved on the wall. 

Wilting flowers caged
in a vase.
Brought in yesterday or
perhaps the day before.
It plummets.
The breaking glass caws
like wind chimes
as it splinters 
into partial shards of people and places.
Jagged reflections
and half-finished faces.

She dances her disjointed 
one woman waltz
through the valley of shadows
cold with hollow ghosts.

Her Mother’s lullaby softly calls.
Hoarse and feeble.
A half formed dream
in the morning playing catch me,
catch me. Catch me
if you can.
Running like tap water.
Plaguing and silvery
as the song of the sirens.
Weaving its way
through the wiry cobwebs 
haloing her head. 

Torchlight carves a hiatus
in the darkness.
Enough light
to clench her sister’s palm
with her bony and withered fingers. 
Enough light 
to see the road.
And hold her hand 
to cross to the other side.