Forum Prize

Nadine Ellsworth-Moran

 

Remains

She turns the glass over beneath

the running water, absently rinsing

as she looks past the kitchen window.

Remember when we lived in Denmark?

But we never lived there, did we?

We were just on holiday, but still

it seemed so homey in January as we ate

our little drømmekage with our coffees.

But certainly we lived in London?

she asks, as she dries the plates

with a faded cotton dish towel.

No, really, we rode the Tube every day

and I distinctly remember buying

an umbrella. Or perhaps it was only days.

What about the beach house in Saba?

We wintered there two years, I think.

No?  Then why do I remember the sunsets

so well? Campari and bitter orange skies

sifting into night and that wild dance music

rising up from all quarters like weeds

in an untended yard. I’m quite sure

that was real, she says, as she tosses scraps

to the gray muzzled dog nosing at her feet.

And that old farmhouse we rented

on the rutted road by the lake—

Remember?  It had the clock

above the fireplace that never kept time

and made us late for everything.

Her words lie in a heap by the dog

now asleep on an old hooked rug

and a bleary voice responds, darling,

something on the stove is burning.

 

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