The Fallen Woman

She shrank away,
down grey blighted streets,
where the red-bricked terraces
shrank back in surprise;
and all the signs on shops
looked aged and faded.
Leaves ushered assorted admonishments;
trees stood dismissive and unearthed;
a shopkeeper raised his criss-cross brow:
for where do we go after birth?

She lay in her abandoned place,
memory tight in closed fist;
towering walls etched her plight
as she lay, screaming,
and all those many faces,
looked wearisome and jaded.
The wind buffeted her pain and loss,
sun smeared regret and sorrow,
a nurse dressed her in lemon and blue,
ready for departure tomorrow.

She sat stiff in an armchair,
emotion constrained by tight threads,
parents stung with scarlet shame,
heads hung with curses,
and all the many voices,
sounded uncomfortably elated.
The plants gasped and bedded down;
roots lying hidden and unknown,
and chalk-stain tears ran down her cheeks,
at the silence without her sound.

She looked out of the window,
at passing ghosts stalked by,
and thought of the red humble door,
in her fitful hours of sleep,
and the eternal spools of fantasy,
wept with quiet amazement.
And then the snow cleaned her narrow heart,
the rain cleansed away the ashes,
and she folded herself into the earth,
where in silence, winter passed.