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In the Air

in memory of Lillian Crosse 1921 - 1998

sprinkling her ashes
on the rocks at low tide
the long walk back

Chairs are stubbornly empty of her – the wooden bench in the garden, the pine carver at the kitchen table, the small upholstered armchair that fitted her exactly, the curve of its sides mirroring the slope of her shoulders as she sat knitting, fingers tugging and twisting a length of wool.

But she’s in the air every time I smell smoke from menthol cigarettes that she tried to convince me would only smell of mint, in the whispers of her hand lotion that refuses to run out, the breath of wax in a tube of Rimmel lipstick I’ve worn to a raspberry stump. And this bar of nameless amber soap I keep beside the kitchen sink, torn between wanting to save it and loving the woody lather flowering in my hands.

break in the clouds
a shadow runs
across the lawn
Planet February 2007

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First published in CHO July 2017

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