Annie's Song, prose by Jan Sargeant at

Annie’s Song

Annie’s Song

written by: Jan Sargeant


A moon smiles coldly over fields around the village, warming no hearts, filling minds with no hopes, offering only the promise of a pale rider coming to call

Greyness beasts make brief work of lustful fancies as women think up shopping lists they will forget to take with them tomorrow

She looks at him, gap-eyed from the vantage of a pillow, course breath steaming from nostrils black with coal dust, black as soot, while his open mouth rattles inside her brain and she wants to silence him

Annie feels for herself under the blanket in a weekly ritual of desire and disgust knowing reality will be there at the break of an apricot dawn as hope weeps with a sinking moon

Women pocket secret lives away from the eyes and ears of the village; pat them inside coat linings, hide them down umbrellas damp with the electric charged anticipation of the promised thunderstorm that never was; teenage dreams lost in flaccid thighs and sagging breasts, the wrinkled sighs of the dispossessed;

secret lives lived through shop windows a lifetime away, a number 46 bus and a million miles away; a dab of lipstick and a squirt of cheap scent, the smashed dashed hopes of a wedding day,

pick up the kids with lives left at school gates before, Long nights. Long days. Long minutes of every long hour as winter ice etches across the bedroom window and through her heart; she is waiting; watching and waiting while the silence of the fields rattles through the walls.

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