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.