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Bernadette Hall

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Three years I am obsessed
with him, the man who is not

my husband.   Shivered, burned,
no joking, truly I did burn

& dreamt him dead.   Black gloves,
a beret on the coffin & hooded

outlaws firing a salute.   I too
would have walked out in a hail

of bullets, slap in the middle
of a cliché.   But said nothing.

Just sat in Irish silence for three
years on his beach.   Brittle with

bitterness, I prayed for him.
He would come, hold me, fold me

in an old tweed coat, stand equal
naked in the gleaming surf,

the night all sparrow colours,
golden fur down the black spine

of the headland & moth embroideries.
The imagery made me, makes me weep.

I was completely fictional.
Then one day it dawned

in a flurry of birdsong & white
camellia cloud & blue & blue

& the tug of a green cricket
in my glass hand.

I am the writer of the script.
Barefaced with armfuls of awful

facts, I turned, turn each new leaf,
my eye on a stunning ending.

I have almost forgotten his name.  

From of Elephants etc. Wellington: Untold Books, 1990
Bernadette Hall

Last updated 24 March, 2005