by Margaret Kay
Once when the syinga bush was white
with flowers, he unpinned the tight
brown knot of her hair
and loosening the skirt that swept the floor
removed the cameo brooch she wore
and took her standing there.
Now, the winter sun sets red and creeps low
across the floor. A cold wind blows.
She sits in her straight-back chair.
Along the shore, grey lichen hang from limbs
of spruce trees. Beside the rim
of sea, the cold sand waits.
She combs her hair straight back and wears
her shawl with the palm-leaf border, where
her cameo brooch is always straight.