Dottie wishes Willie would
return home. All night she
had twisted and turned in
his bed. She looks out of
the window of their cottage
for the postie to come with
a letter from her brother,
but there is no sight or sign.
She sighs. Later she will prepare
one of his favourite pies. He’ll
bring Sammy and they’ll go
for walks and talk and smell
flowers and hear the birdsongs
and sit beneath trees and study
the sky. She moves to the kettle
and switches it on and prepares
a cup of tea. One teabag, two
sugars, a small spill of milk.
She sips and thinks. If Willie
were here now he’d lay his head
on her shoulder and read her
one of his poems. She likes it when
he reads her one of his poems.
She knows them because she
scribbles them down as he recites
them as they walk along. I can’t
write sitting down, he often told her.
I need to walk and breathe the
air and hear the songs of birds.
She sits and imagines him there
beside her, his head on her
shoulder as if a pillow, his
vibrating voice moving inside her.
She senses a headache coming,
feels the tremors along her nerves
like a coming storm. It is a time
of bleeds. The moon’s pull drags
her down. If Willie were here he’d
say, Go lay down and I will come
bring you pills and water and kiss
it better. But her brother is away
bringing Sammy. The clouds are
gathering, dark grey and heavy,
the sky becoming black, oh, she
says, if only my Willie was back.