[Poetry] — Raymond Miller

What Remains

A handkerchief to wipe the eyes
that he may gaze on bride and groom
as she looked then at twenty-five;
the offspring of their love survives 
and gathers in the living room.

Discovered letters she once wrote 
in that unsteady girlish hand; 
unsheathe each from its envelope,
ignore the cracking of his throat 
for he would not be thought unmanned. 

These clothes hung heavy with her scent
are characters in search of roles; 
he matches them and reinvents, 
anticipating her intent 
of sliding limbs through gaping holes. 

Let’s shut the doors to bar escape 
for he imagines her too much, 
and overshadowed eyes mistake 
that trees and clouds contain her shape, 
her whispering this twilight hush.

Snowmen

The children flew
and snow-hush fell
upon stone
and at a morning

the soft tattoo
of feet on felt
froze
pitter-patter meaning.

He bends and raises
replicas,
remembrance
of past faces

shovels, brushes,
signatures:
December’s
masterpieces.

*

Ray Miller is a Socialist, Aston Villa supporter and faithful husband. Life’s been a disappointment.