(For Dónall) Portrait of a Poet, Sleeping
Turning her head she finds his sleeping face
a few inches from hers. A moment to hold
in her mind’s gallery. Immobile, peaceful,
open to her calm inspection,
smooth cheekbones gold-pink,
eyes sunk, looking inward, heavy eyelids
falling across them like blinds from the broad forehead.
Nose somehow more delicate
than when he is awake. Lips firmly closed
over the voluble mouth. John Lennon, she thinks,
as she stores his mouth away. She keeps still,
despite her filling bladder and her stiffening back.
His hand still rests on her stomach, his foot on hers.
If she moves, the blinds will flick up,
the quiet breath will quicken,
his face will be remoulded by the lively muscles.
Where is he now?
Inside this calm mask, perhaps he’s running
in the pathways of neurons that link this moment
with the past. And who is she to call him back?
Janice Windle's Other Poems
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