‘It won’t take me long
to show you where to find me,
to show you where I’ll be…’
Her skirts brush a path through a dusting of dead soil trying to steal
the crazily paved thoughts that lead the way down through the tolling bells
of Fuchsia that ring only in her ears.
Wilted scent long since a memory, wafts past her nostrils only.
Birds never sing or hover gently – there are
no lush enticements such as sunlight or colour for them to repose in.
The ivy, once triumphant in its climb, has grown weary;
its brittle hands crumble without so much as a touch,
just as she would, and so easily, we fear.
Heavy oak doors sigh and groan as a frail, ashen gesture
endears her to them, and they give as if opening for her
and her alone. She turns to wave us on, and she smiles at us,
the intruders into this labyrinth of sadness, where melancholic
blossoms lay forlorn at her feet. She does not see us –
she does not see anything at all – but she smiles knowingly,
tilting her head back slightly as the wind begins a cooling serenade
causing her gait to slow. She comes to rest upon a mildewed bench –
her skirts still once more, and there she waits;
we cannot tell for what or for whom, and not just from the widening
of her smile. She heaves a heavy sigh and plucks imaginary petals
from a spent stem, long since dried and rotted.
She plucks rhythmically to the deadened beat of her tired heart.
But for her, inside her secret garden, inside of her walled off mind, the beautiful colours fall lazily, and one by one, she counts them all.
‘He loves me,
he loves me not,
We tip our hats and bid her good day, all of us without the heart
to remove her from within – from her secret garden… and she smiles.