Melded into the metal door at the back of the old Alhambra,
Sheltered by a short canopy that still boasts the glory of its stained green glass,
Maurice tries to move his frozen arm.
All feeling fails him, as he pumps the fingers of his right hand.
The thumping heart rhythms in his ears boom like a bodhran beat.
He is all sensation and no sensation.
Thoughts dart around like the discarded wrappers that visit him briefly, before being whirled away.
Beyond his own breath and the coursing of blood and the cyclonic breeze, he hears nothing.
The fevered morning footfall on the Main Street is as unaware of Maurice as Maurice is of them.
The persuasiveness of the cold, wet amber
Pushes the last wisp of resolve firmly to one side,
Revealing all the old desire.
Sixteen years, aging and maturing
In a vinaigrette of 12 step hope and his mother’s prayers
Hasn’t quenched the fire
Bad days and holy days and Saturdays
All steered well, but not today
Today he is too tired
Eyes off the road, off the goal, on the pint,
Resting in the familiar flow, the gentle tide
That is going to lift him higher.
His face, a pale, damp mask of resignation, turns to nod towards the door.
“You whore….And take your damn dog with you!
Aye, and all your traps…
your blasted cuckoo clock and lamps,
And all the stuff that drives me quare!”
he strides the stairs, two steps at a time
And pitches all his grasp can hold, regardless.
“Bitch” he mutters as they tumble down;
a dressing gown…
“Take them all”
He sighs; his anger finally spent.
He feels the silence creeping all around him.
Sleep will fill the hollow soon, then dawn will wake the memory of her leaving,
Taking one small case, nine years ago.
Putting the funk in function, you stumble around the room
Odd socks on hardened feet, turned out to meet the world; hopefully.
Hopeful of forgiveness?
Or maybe just fatigue…
A deep tiredness that will overlook your transgressions from the night before.
Wretchedness that will acknowledge wretchedness, like some second cousin; similar but different.
Hopeful that our 35-year dance will allow you to make your porridge in peace…
and move on.
© Kay Liston