One Poem by Judith Steele

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

A Room Remembered

What parties we had in this room, how sparkling the nights
with wine and laughter, both at the pub and after,
when the musos and their fans came back to this house.

Our music and laughter went up in the smoke
we breathed between dances and drinks.
Now there’s no smoke and no fire.

Rucked-up rugs crowd around the feet
of your armchair, my dear, as if waiting
for your jokes. Wine stains on the cushions,

cigarette burns on the curved wooden arms
of the chair. Art deco and graffiti on the wall,
the gifts of recent squatters.

Once a gracious house in rambling gardens,
now feral roses climb its crumbling walls
waiting for the bulldozers, and the multitude

of concrete boxes that will hold no memory
of our love and laughter, nor our fights and tears.
We are old. Life moves on. Bless the young.


Judith Steele is Australian. Her poetry or prose has appeared in journals in Darwin and Adelaide, and on several websites including The Animist, The Merida Review, and Nine Muses; and with translations in past and recent issues of the print journal Gobshite Quarterly (Portland, OR).

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