Villanelle

His ghost stole in like the grey fingers of dawn.

I am queuing for a Cadbury’s Applause,

Back wheel spinning, glimpsed through the grocery door.

 

His bike on its side, propped as if on our lawn,

And he, beside me, defies sensible laws.

His ghost stole in like the grey fingers of dawn.

 

“Does Mum know you’re here? Everything’s been so torn.”

“Everything’s fine.” But his strange tone gives me pause,

Back wheel spinning, glimpsed through the grocery door.

 

The line shuffles. I break his gaze, fearing scorn.

Though queues must follow inexorable laws

His ghost stole in like the grey fingers of dawn.

 

“I have to go now. Don’t worry. Nothing’s torn.”

I fumble through my coins and buy the Applause,

Back wheel spinning, glimpsed through the grocery door.

 

Dad’s hand shaking my shoulder. Waking, I yawn.

“Your brother’s gone,” he tells me, “and you’re the cause.”

His ghost stole in like the grey fingers of dawn,

Back wheel spinning, glimpsed through the grocery door.

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