The Red Eiderdown


My head clicked through another frame of pain.
A small steel trigger imbedded in my brain
pressed a shutter on a rigid photograph.

was my head; I was within my head.
My temples bulged with prints and negatives.
I went to lie on the verandah-bed
beneath the warm red muffling eiderdown.
Closed away my mind slurred in an ache
while from the lounge, talk and the sharper laugh
filtered down through feathers and satin spread.

The talk was of the placing of the dead.
They talked of graves and good earth over graves.
The voices spoke of bricked-in pits and things.
The voices spoke of marble mausoleums.

Slipping and rustling in my soft bright cave,
under the cover light as fragrant grass
I listened, placid as a dead one might
yet rose up from my nest, one foot in time,
the other in my last wish, my eiderdown,
and stumbling in the dark moved to the light.

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