a poem by Lynne Colgrave, UK

She came home in that dawn
of ice-bound winter,
skidding on the frozen path
and reaching in her pocket
to light a match
to penetrate the frozen lock
and force the door.

Inside, the house was cold
as death, her fingers numb,
she raked the whispering coke,
wove poor man’s sticks
and piled them in the empty grate
and sat to watch the hungry blaze
abate, as fast as it began.

Silently, her thoughts rang out
and filled the room with
images and longings raw
to hold his little body close,
to and feel his warmth and
breathe his scented baby smell
please Lord! Just once more…

But all was cold and desolate,
the funeral pyre refused to burn
and soot fell from the fireplace
to stain the shadows of her face.

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