New Zealand, (fl. 2015-present)
death and after
- Those weeks alone in her flat were difficult.
- It was cold and I got sick after the funeral.
- I had sat on a plane for hours, straight and
- by the time I wound the tortuous roads in-
- land to up-stream Latium, I had been
- on the road, for about 40 hours. It was good
- to get clean at last and eat the rough Sabine food,
- a hot winter soup and hard bread and beans and pork,
- and good drink. I got dropped off and opened her door
- for the first time in more than a year. There was
- no-one there and I felt, what? I slept on her bed
- curled in a ball. I was cold but I slept like the dead –
- good, down for the first time in two days. I saw her
- lying flat in the morning, flowers on her breast;
- and later at the church and last, the beautiful
- cemetery by the monastery of St Francis
- at Fontecolombo: the Dove’s Fountain. The ceremony
- of a digger filling the grave troubled me. A friend
- put her arm round me, and later in the week she came
- with her husband to see me, and I was so out of it,
- nodding on the chair, laughing occasionally.
- I remember. The family doctor had been… supportive.
- It was cold and not quite winter. The end of November –
- when pigs btw get slaughtered. She used to run, run
- from the farm as a little girl and block her ears.
- I understand this and try hard not to care.
- I want to tell her now that she is not a cold
- set of bones buried underground in her soiled
- gown. It’s for the scientist to strip us down,
- bare of, or to a bare root of, meaning. We dig
- past the facts I think. But, they write the books
- I will read some day, dying and senile, and declare
- my atheism in support, a last stupid act
- of defiance. Now, I want to tell her that she lives
- for real and for good – not just in some metaphor
- I thought up, which is really nothing at all. I recall
- one morning how the wind cut through my clothes
- on my way to see, vaguely, an office clerk in town.
- I had to take care of some business, a lot more
- than I care for. Friend, I felt so cold. Those weeks
- in the flat are like a dream to me now. I disposed
- of her clothes. You know how that feels, or imagine.
- I kept her winter shawl and her dressing gown. Took them
- 11 October 2015
About the Poet:
Mark Prisco, New Zealand, (fl. 2015-present) is a poet and, as of October 2017, an honours student of English Literature at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand.
Prisco has published regularly at New Zealand Poetry, a website as an avenue for Kiwi Poets to post, share and publish to.
He has also had poems included in Issue Four and Issue Five of MAYHEM. Mayhem publishes new works of creative prose and poetry from students, staff and Alumni of the University of Waikato and its partner institutions and also accepts submissions from writers around Aotearoa New Zealand. [DES-03/18]