Song of the Living
by Lucy Ng
Tea, mismatched cups
the scarred wood of her kitchen table;
her hand shaking
when she told me.
I tell her,
grasping her cool fingers;
for a moment,
I also see,
the beginning and the end
mapped out in shades of white and grey
delicate tracery of branches
imprint of disease.
their back yard
the sagging fence between our homes
tears, the smudged window glass
her husband smoking sausages
in that old broken-down refrigerator.
the dark mask of a smile
tending the fire.
Coffee, toast and dirty dishes;
I know the sound of your footstep on the stair,
the scratch of your key in the lock.
You and I
are partnered in a waking slumber,
an intricate dance
this sudden luminous passion,
a cascade of song, like blood, flooding our ears?
Was it a consolation then,
that she loved,
and was loved?
Lucy Ng writes poetry, short fiction and creative non-fiction. She has been previously published in Many-Mouthed Birds: An Anthology of Chinese Canadian Writing and Western Living Magazine.