Suzette Richards

(Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA)

Mildewed Expectations


The rose colour of your mouth
stirs something primordial inside of me -
I smile along with you.
Plump little hands reach for my face.
I hold still
while you explore my heart with a feathery touch.


When you are asleep,
I look over the papers of your college fund.
We could make it
if we would forsake frivolities.
It will be no hardship for me to do so.
I smile contentedly.

The boxer puppy lying at my feet;
quite content-
its stomach pink and extended:
he ate too greedily
(as usual) .
You will grow up together
and share our unconditional love.

The cricket bat,
signed by the national team,
takes pride of place in its brackets on your bedroom wall -
a pale dove blue
(matching the colour of your eyes) .
A gift from your dad -
sure that you would follow in his footsteps.
A rainbow of possibilities prostrate at your feet.

I check every now and again
whether you are breathing.
Sleeping soundly,
neither a frown upon your smooth face,
nor a care in the world.
Your long, black eyelashes quiver slightly,
as though following a dream -
a dream we all shared:
a dream of boundless expectations …


**************

Exhuming long forgotten memories;
mingling with my fevered tears -
echoing my breaking heart.

They lead you away.
Assaulting the arresting officer
had sealed your fate.

Mildewed expectations
best laid to rest
together with the memories of you.


The sky has lost its colour,
as I step outside the courtroom.

Submitted: Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Edited: Friday, September 26, 2014

Topic(s): grief


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