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Village Fiddler

Penelope Shuttle

What’s more final than divorce?


This is,

being forever without you,

no hope of reconciliation,

a door

closing me into the alone of myself,

into the evening of everything,

kings no longer robed in flamingo silks,

the long voyage of dusk into more dusk,

darkness and its very small secrets,

your death

fixing me forever on the outskirts of tears.


Once I had the lion’s share of you,


I’m like a village fiddler,

my tune a ragged green curtain

on which deer leap through foliage,

and where you are the darkest tree


in a forest not of this world.


From Magma No 36 (Winter 2006)