Awake written by Gavin Haycock at



written by: Gavin Haycock



polished lines of cars and cloth
these dark stars emerge without sound
they arrive, largely silent
not knowing when edges will soften
before the food comes and singing begins
breath comes slowly
time to take in after noon air
amid the flute-like call of a lone blackbird
occasional drop of water
from somewhere above
to an awning outstretched over my head
they roll in with the silent certainty
of an incoming tide
pallbearers with gun-metal eyes, stiff backs, unwavering gaits
they walk wreathes through autumn gardens, dry soil, still-life leaves
to a private room by the bar
from close and distant lives
now joined in a chorus of thoughts
a band with bagpipes, drums
fabric of a medalled heart, defeated arm, an eyepatch or two
a few smoke cigarettes under a wooden pergola arch at the entrance
every now and then they pause
flicking their stubs to the far side of the road when they have inhaled enough
for this moment
a daughter, her stride stronger than others
is embraced by an aunt with a neck of pearls, a hand of gold
“You’ve changed so much,” she says
the younger woman dips her head, hugs her relative momentarily, says nothing
they move inside to dimly-lit rooms
little things become fleetingly important
a stray hair over an eye
a fleck of something on a lapel
the wag of a dog’s tail, unjudging eyes
they awaken as hours turn to dusk
nothing is as haunting as the wail of bagpipes drowning out unknown nostalgias
the widow, her core holding on
as around her things fall apart
smiles sweet whispers in her own centred way
lifts lime-laced drinks from a passing tray
“Time’s the most costly thing,” she says
as a swirl of cubes run round her glass
“The loss of it all is something from which I will never recover.”
outside vermillion veneer of sky
bleeds through to a burgundy evening

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