Stephanie Grieve

Tomorrow, Wendy

In this house of stone, the windows are open.
She waits in half consciousness
composing moonlight
the toss of possibility
the turn of the past.

Night air on her cheek
a final push to leave their bed
just the smallest leap
and it is done.

Out, across the rooftops
she is dashing white water
in a swollen river, her own protagonist
at last, the freedom of telling:
escape or abandonment
chimney sweep, pixie or reindeer.

Arriving at an opposite house
there’s a fire in the grille
an apple tree in the yard
guilt, and sugary desire.

The choice is already made
The bridges no longer exist.

Time passes, asterisks on a page
and in the next chapter
ordinary ornaments appear
a toilet brush and a rubbish bin
the creeping threat of routine.

Circumstances change, the candles
are lit less often.

The season is shifting again
like the weight of consequence
and suddenly there it is
Autumn coming ‘round
that vague flavour of dissatisfaction.

In the cool night
the ache of indecision
either side of midnight
and windows, always windows.

Stephanie is based in Christchurch and was an inaugural member of the Hagley Writers’ School. She finds time to write occasionally in the space between her day jobs as a lawyer and mother of three. She has had poems published in various journals and publications.