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Location: Dublin, Republic of, Ireland

Saturday 30 September 2006

After A Quarrel

by Susan Abraham

Today, she walked into the
wound of your heart, and
you would have stopped with
a start,
if you had seen her then.

Maternal shadows had
dressed her well for
the swell of an unbroken
corsage that tripped at
her breasts and masqueraded
her sorrow for bloom.

Such flaws, her pretend bodyguard

for desperation, a new desire to
look beautiful is made best
from tears of old,
suddenly turned to gold.

And so was her allure, that too
sharp-eyed, sudden and sure.
And now you would never have
guessed how when she came close
to where you often met, it
felt like she had tiptoed
into an open wound.

There was blood everywhere
and her black
gown got bandaged by the
scar of skin, still bleeding as
fire on ice and flesh half-cooked
on burning sand.

Her sadness hovered like ghosts,
you could not see it,
hiding in eyes painted to look
like a bridal boudair that
would hold the imagination hostage,
in its power and its splendour.

And then when she stared enraptured,
you would be the first to oblige,
putting the quarrel behind you and
taking her into your arms
as the sea would hold the swan
and the sunshine would hold
the land.

Now you would offer her your
injured hand that even as she
danced upon it a song of love
and swung her skirts with
relish, she your queen, forgiven,
scolded, and all so nicely

And swinging from the pain of love,
only you could slip that snatched-up
wedding ring back onto her finger
and where you had once kissed away
her splinters, only
you could turn her sparkling fire
from its signature love
of ash and buried tinder,
into a husband's shiny trove
of lustre and secret hoarded treasure.