red

 

She put it away with her innermost treasures,

folded, linen-like in the dark chest

of empty scent bottles and mothballs.

She stepped outside.

If the warmth wasn’t there, she would pretend it.

The anger was red, a furious glow,

but all her life, she swallowed it

in place of all else, the dainty canapés and sweets

of summer, the carefully moulded jellies.

It was a brighter time; that was all.

The anger was wordless, a tight breath;

the ghost of a scowl or a questioning look

at all the things she was never to understand.

Summer was parties, late night student digs,

dances under street lights;

breathless heat under the stars.

Later, daytime on the lawn;

sun block, picnics, tighter smiles.

Outdoors and free, that was the important part.

In winter, it was flame coloured,

impossible to ignore, promising

to swallow her whole.

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