Her steps echo on the slate walk.
She turns; searching, but cannot see the others;
the veritable ghost-army keeping pace.
A whisper of perfume
The familiar oak a skeleton in the yard.
Smells of the past and of a storm yet to come.
Memories hits with the open door
a rabbit hole,
through the glass of the grandfather clock
its hands spinning backward.
She’s caught – captive in a sandstorm.
There is no shielding herself from the barrage:
– what if?
Flayed raw by the storm, old scars tear open.
She reaches for an anchor, but finds only the hard curves of an hourglass
nipping, shaping, crushing.
No! she thinks. Not here. I don’t fit here anymore!
The glass is strong, unyielding beneath her fists.
She weeps, trapped, until she remembers.
Let it go.
Her hands are clenched,
crushing sand to her raw palms.
Let it go.
Slowly, painfully, she uncurls each finger and lets the sand blow away.
Standing on the porch, she turns her back on the open door,
clatters down the stairs
lighter than when she came up the walk.
She’s remembered: the past is a foreign country:
she cannot live there.
Poetry inspired by the Write on Edge prompt: “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” ~ L. P. Hartley: The Go-Between (1953).