Dotty lies in Willie’s bed,
he’s gone to fetch Sammy
his poet friend and will return
in a few days. She sniffs
her brother’s pillow, smells
his hair oil and aftershave.
She snuggles into the bed
for warmth, pulling his duvet
tight around her, imagining
it’s him holding her, his arms
about her. She has a headache,
a coming near the edge, migraine.
Feels sick, light leaking through
the curtains makes it worse.
She puts her head under the
duvet, shuts out the bright light.
She smells him better here, his
love of scent, his personal choice.
She hears birdsong from the garden,
a blue tit, great tit, unsure which.
Willie’d know. She squeezes her
eyes tight keep out whatever light
might intrude. Willie’s left her some
of his poems to type up and file away.
Later in the day, she muses, once
the sickness and migraine’s gone.
He had a good day yesterday with
the poems, she recalls, him reciting
over and over as they walked, her
scribbling down, pencil and pad,
her finger and thumb holding the
pencil tight until they felt numb.
After they returned home and sat
by the fire and he spoke them out
one by one. She loved the one about
winter dawn. She turns over, faces
the wall, her head buried into Willie’s
warm indentation. In the darkness
she recites the poems one by one,
the words pouring from her lips,
following each other like children
out to play. She shuts out the dawn
chorus of birds that celebrate the day.
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