She had always pictured some sleek old fox
With clear brown skin and smooth white locks;
Not this old bear, grizzly, full of grief -
Not this tired old tree, this trembling leaf.
But all her illusions burst one day
Shattered and scattered in a porcelain spray
Like a prophecy prophet at her slippered feet;
The broken cup, the cry and heat.
He was never again the same for her,
That shaky old man with the shell-shock slur
Wasn't quite her 'Dear old Bert"
But an old wound, deep and full of hurt
So she left him one day, just like that -
The sink still cluttered, no food for the cat,
The bird calling sweet covered up in its cage
And old Bert in the living room drowning with age.
by Phil Brown
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Copyright © Phil Brown