Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.
Seven Perspectives on a Rock Bed
On rocks, a woman, a man.
On a slab of granite, he waits, focusing
on the face of a cliff she cannot see for now. She is awake,
pretending to sleep. Her left eye watches him. Her pupil dilates.
The eye of a woman sees
yesterday. She is only half awake. Her left
eye is roaming. It is sinking with the sun from bedrock to ocean.
She conjures a younger man, alive on a midnight beach, dozing, naked.
A man on his high throne
regards a small woman asleep at his feet and
wonders if one day she will snore; will he lie next to her unable
to sleep on sand because of her? Before that, will they have the future?
The head of a cliff faces
the body of a woman who is no longer at rest.
She stretches, kneels, arm towards a man astride a jagged boulder
of granite that has lasted millions of years; she feels her swelling curve.
On a craggy outcrop
a man with broadened shoulders sits absent-mindedly
ignoring a woman; his legs are splayed to balance their discomfort.
Their unhappiness grows greyer, a dull ochre; each month more mottled.
A woman considers the grit of
a man who was once her lover and is now her husband
and father of her unborn child; she wonders why he is staring
so blankly at the headland; why perch on a rock instead of a deck chair?
A man, a woman, on the rocks.
He looks at a woman, who from his angle,
appears to have shrunken her head. She considers his flat stance
as the tide flows, creeping up on two figures, trapped on a grey stone bed.
Dorothy Burrows enjoys writing flash fiction, short plays and poetry. This year her poems have appeared on various e-zines including Words for the Wild, Another North, Nine Muses Poetry and The Ekphrastic Review. She walks regularly in the countryside near her home on the edge of the North Wessex Downs.