The Widower and his Clothes

The Widower and his Clothes


Winner, Myslexia Women's Poetry Competition 2010

The winter after

the weather organised his clothes.

He took to moors and beaches

and tentative horizons

that juggled sun and blizzards

on the ocean’s edge.

He took to rocks,

and sturdier boots,

and ditches where the rain

lay muttering with the moss

and dark newts lived a definite life

that made him feel unformed.

He looked to trees

their roots, like talons, holding on,

and found a heavier coat

that made his back seem real

and his arms more able

to push him through the day.

He wrapped a scarf

around his mouth to keep

his language warm, his words

in hibernation, while he

lingered on the hillside

where the frost was yet to melt.

The weather chose his clothes

that careful chrysalis, in which his heart

adjusted to the qualities of snow,

until the winter nuzzles into spring

and his fingers, in their gloves,

begin to think of touch.