The first room is a room that has seen
too many fabrics. Layers slip from the surfaces.
Soon there will be only lathe and plaster
a structure of rubble behind the peel.
Once there was a suitcase of hope
a dressing table of promise
a chest of drawers stuffed full of dreams
now there are off-cuts of carpet,
rust oxidises on the door fittings,
the suitcase is gaping.
In the attic, the bible has lost its context,
the dreamcatcher is a gatherer of dust,
the bed is pillowed in dirt and discomfort.
The dust has become volcanic
with the crumble of cotton.
There may be a skeleton under the bed.
In her mother’s bedroom the Virgin
fondles her rosary in a gesture of disapproval
her mother’s bed leans against the paneling,
wall socket visible, now that the bed
has been stripped of its comforts.
A small Christ watches over nothingness.
She has placed her new white suitcase
in the middle of horror
in a room which is no longer a room
but a warzone. The birds
have splattered guano over all its faces
the pine chairs, the deal table
the pink plush bedspread.
Only the word remains
on Blue Basildon Bond writing paper
and a novel by Dickens – Great Expectations.
© Jean Taylor