The Colour of Sorrow

inspired by "Self Portrait as a Soldier in the Trenches" by Robert Henderson Blythe.

1

You stare at me

through empty eyes.

Sitting straight-

backed you glare

at my back as

I turn my face away.

I sit in my

chair and sigh, a

sound so familiar

it feels like security

Your lips graze

my cheek and

I feel your eyes

burning.

Lips on mine

sweet and sure,

filled with passion

and lust.

I picture you

cold and alone

clutching my letters,

listening to death.

2

The neighbour's house exploded late

one night,

shrapnel flying across the

familiar field,

scattering into the dark

to join the stars and the

broken promise.

3

I'll send you socks

and cigarettes

and a letter that

you'll read.

Tears on cheap paper

poisoned with my

scrawling print.

I'll tell you that

I miss you and

the baby's doing fine.

I'll moan about

the lack of milk

and try to pass the

time, filling every

inch with words of

tender love.

I won't say

every night I sob and

hold your picture close

as the sky lights up

and the house shakes.

4

I exhale the colours

of sorrow:

Blue and grey and

mournful purple.

Little hands tug me

back into now.

And my now is orderly chaos.

Crayons and cooking.

A cacophony of boredom.

The front door swings.

A view of the sky

for one moment too little and

I ache at the base of my wings.

I imagine you taking your time

down the hall,

holding the little ones,

returning to kiss me, your mouth full

of dying fire.