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Old woman
Lies abed
Book in her hand
By that same hand writ
The curtains are drawn
The room is black
Only the sound of her quiet breath…

Young lad
Of a distant land
Walks by a shelf
Of dusty tomes
One catches the flight
Of his playful eye
Draws his hand
To its tattered page…

Two minds commingle
On a kindred shore
‘Cross those many miles
A young child’s dreams
An old woman’s joy
The sights and sounds of bygone days
Pour from the pages of yellowed pulp
Flow like blood to a young boy’s heart.

But no one would see
In that blackened room
As a young lad skipped over stony streets
With a tattered book
Clutched tight in his arm
An old woman smile
Half a world away
And give her final breath
To the waiting dark.

(Previously published in Manx Fiction, Dec 1999, Vol 1, No 6)

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