By Fiona Perry

 

He asked the driver to park outside

her old family home. A cottage now scalped 

of thatch and peopled by ghosts.

"I proposed here," he said, his belly

juddering with unexpected lamentation.

And I see them together, weathered 

 

By past love affairs, striving. Harbouring

the hope that hidden hurt is healed by new 

grand designs. As a child, I knew: 

they are mismatched yet 

united in a scrabble to find enough 

common ground to build 

 

A family. He came to consider it all

a mistake. Settling. But without

her? His spirit is a seaweed air sac. 

The illusion of volume hiding the dawn 

 

Of collapse. He nets and caskets

her in revised memory. The teeming 

lough gazing at us in the wing

mirror whispers freshwater

 

Solace. She is shrouded, silenced and stilled.

"The hearse will be at the graveyard by now," 

I said, "we have to go." Black gloss of the cortege

car travelling like a bullet.

 

 

---

 

Fiona Perry's short stories and poetry have been published in The Irish Literary Review, Spontaneity Magazine, Into The Void, Dodging the Rain, A New Ulster, Tahake Magazine and Skylight47 amongst others. She has had two works of fiction included in anthologies of Australian Award Winning Original Short Stories. She grew up in Northern Ireland but has lived most of her adult life in England and Australia. She currently lives in splendid isolation in New Zealand. Follow her on Twitter @Fionaperry17