Beverley George


                                                               the new year
                                                               begins with sky rockets
                                                               like them
                                                               who can tell
                                                               where we will land              


                                                               flannel flowers
                                                               spring between the cliff rocks
                                                               the impulse
                                                               to discard everything
                                                               that no longer matters


                                                               salt on my tongue
                                                               pulled into his body’s curve
                                                               I dream of conches
                                                               that curl into my palm
                                                               and whisper of the sea


                                                               in sunlight                                                       
                                                               you play saxophone
                                                               and I am breathless
                                                               knowing precisely
                                                               how each note will fall


                                                               this long night
                                                               lost in surf sound
                                                               the agitation
                                                               of not doing anything
                                                               to its full potential


                                                               how much time and care
                                                               we give to passing things…
                                                               navy beads
                                                               from mother’s evening bag
                                                               loose in the dress-up box


                                                               A Christmas Carol
                                                               read aloud each year–
                                                               apple peel falling
                                                               in unbroken spirals
                                                               from my father’s knife


                                                               jousting at Camelot–
                                                               I would have worn your colours
                                                               with such pride–
                                                               the last silk scarf you sent me
                                                               flutters brightly at my throat


                                                               rose arbour—
                                                               sipping perfumed tea
                                                               we avoid the barbs
                                                               that drew blood
                                                               when we parted


                                                               a lightning strike
                                                               splits our old apple tree–
                                                               I never dreamed
                                                               the death that parted us
                                                               would not be one of ours


                                                               hearing of your plight
                                                               I light a purchased candle
                                                               in a foreign church . . .
                                                               this flame now a beadsman
                                                               importuning for you


                                                               lonely nights
                                                               my mother working secretly
                                                               in the quiet house–
                                                               all my dollies in new clothes
                                                               lined up to surprise me



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