One Poem by Michael Caines

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

A cell

That’s my last duchess paint – who am I kidding?
We rent this place. We moved in seven years
ago, already widowed, cleared out, downsized;
odd heirlooms remained. Since Christopher’s wedding,

the place has grown a cell for two; it’s ours
yet strange to us. One smokes and is surprised
by any thing: a picture on the wall,
the private contents of a chest of drawers,

the still shape of afternoons. To our eyes,
nothing now can change, though a dull pull,
the future, tugs us onwards. Time must have,
of course, a stop; Time’s waiting room refuses

to let its weary denizens revive
their sense of life. We breathe. Are we alive?


Michael Caines lives in London, and had poems commended last year in the Battered Moons and Culpepper’s Remedy competitions.

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