Creative Writing, Venue

Gone for Good

I was convinced she would have come back,

            (even though she had tucked our spaniel pup

            into the back of her Ford, caged up next to 

            her bedside radio, shaped like a fridge

            bundled corduroy shirts, denim skirts,

            a mirror punctured with the prongs of a fork,

            her toothbrush and spitefully mine)

until I found she had taken half of the mantelpiece ornament

shaped like two magpies preening themselves over the dome

of a glass clock. The one stared back at me, beak full of feathers,

ready to peck down at a shattered ‘O’ forever saved at 4:00am

though she left four hours after.

I was convinced she would come back

            (even though she drove away from the hills 

            where we had shared our first kiss, apprehensively,

            both of us fifteen years younger and hopeful, 

            seconds from fighting off our oversized jeans 

            and black brand shirts)

until I saw the car thunder over the horizon, past the 

tufts of sheep she’d hold up a finger to, scribble in 

notepads, whisper peacefully how she’d own some 

one day and shear them, dress them as children 

never dropping speed, throttling itself into the pool 

of horrid brightening sky, directed where only she knew.

She had left the notebook behind, pages unmarked, 

clean from disuse, settled in the living room 

where we had screamed the roof down at seven at night 

(every night) though the pup had just begun to sleep through,

and I ducked as a plate swirled towards me, before the weight of the room

caught it and thrust it to shards at my feet and I screamed back 

though we forgot who was right and who was wrong and whether

we deserved to know the answer, whether we cared why. 

I threw the book at the wall for memory’s sake, 

            hoping the pup would hear me and howl,

realising what she had gone for. 


About Author

Oliver Shrouder

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September 2021
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