A shock to see it, sleeves creased and sagged to his shape
as if he would return to wear it.
Forgotten in the downstairs cupboard I suppose
When I sorted his stuff for the charity shop.
I took to wearing it out of doors; it smelled of him and the
pockets were deep.
Thrusting fingers into their depths, I probed in corners
picking up flecks of fluff and dust from the past
that clung to my nails for dear life.
It was weeks before I found the inside pocket and the letter
– he wouldn’t think I’d poke in there –
saying “dearest”, “beloved” and
“you are my life”.
No one to care now that what cannot
be borne is fingering these
fragments of a life
On the corner of the page her kisses shrivel
strands of scorched yarn sizzle and
in the flames of the pyre
my rage burns.
Lost to us both now
– Jane Dobson
Published in The Times, February 2010