SENTINEL POETRY (ONLINE) #14     JANUARY 2004

JOHN THOMSON


ALICE, BY THE WINDOW

Alice, she
spends her days by hooded windows
with vistas of the past
slowly counting heartbeats,
watching gathered sparrows.
Old age
invades and suffocates
and grows
in the stony face of bungalows
and footsteps rise
like Lazarus
in brick red walls, wrought iron gates
past genteel cups and china plates,
and the trees are restless.
Death intrudes
in dancing streets and cocktail bars
the hands that move past silent faces
the hands who know the secret places
reach conclusions and solutions.
There is
dust here and silence
twists this darkened room
as the day descends
among yesterdays
and lilac blooms
congeal the air,
the click of needles
fall and rise and
fall in desperate
rhythm,
the drawing near...
and Alice does not stir.

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