September 2022

Back to Issue 12

Feather dress

By Alison J Barton


at the amber sick room

a distant dread still creeps 

dishevelled to certain ache

unable to breathe in

the days between


I can’t sleep for admiring 

the morning 

a gleaming thicket

where you opened the blinds


I almost taste weightless

a winter we walked into

truth falling from our eyes


you sew your sister’s wedding dress

for the funeral on a slate hill

no silk stairs to tread

beneath a gloomy mantle

clutches of hydrangeas


it hasn’t rained yet

it’s a sign of the cold

that I am weary

that my head drops

to the exhale of a symptomless choir


I know how long it takes to leave

the brittle earth

song arcs from your throat

on a feather breeze 

we will sail this grief