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End of Days ©

Josephine Duthie
Aberdeen, Scotland
2003

Heavy with rain, the old woman weeps
a winter of shadows alone on the streets.
She wheezes the night and sees not a thing,
no feature nor form invades her terrain.

Sodium lights all wink at her door,
battered and broken it sparkles no more.
A time-blackened hallway, she shuffles the floor,
it swallows her body, cocoons her once more.

Hands on the rails, each foot slips the stairs,
upwards she climbs adrift without care.
Home with no meaning, cobwebbed in defeat,
a war husband lost, her children mistreat.

Second-hand tea bags, a kettle turned black,
a thrown aside match box, no light for the gas.
She flops in her armchair, a shawl on her lap,
whispers, "Why bother?" and turns the gas tap.



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