The Kindness of Strangers

the caretaker

The snow was unexpected
The weatherman got it all wrong
(how could he do this to me?!).

The sky has been dropping mean heaps
of heavy, thick, intimidating snow
for over an hour now

And I am not there to protect her.

My liver and kidneys and bladder
Have all migrated into my lungs
I can barely breathe – our separation attacks me.

When I finally reach her
I throw myself on top her grave,
Convinced that my body heat will penetrate
Through the ice, the ground, her coffin

“I’m here now,
Don’t be cold,
Don’t be scared,
I am here now,”
I wail and wail and wail
(I do know that she is gone).

But she and I are not alone
The old caretaker has crunched his way
down the snowy hill to us.
His voice creaks to see
If everything is alright…

The size of Tinsley’s gravestone
Is a blunt instrument,
It silences him quickly.

He pauses, and fumbles for his cigarettes
“Miss, the roads are getting bad now,”
I hear him tell me.

But I cannot leave her
I cannot leave her
“I cannot leave her here, it is too cold,
Don’t make me leave her!”
I moan into the frozen ground.

I feel him heave a heavy sigh
A compassionate, tired sigh

“She is warm now, miss,” he mutters gently.

I watch him crunch his way
back up the snowy hill.

In that moment
He is the kindest man
I have ever known.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close