A Game of Patience

Her hands find the buttons first.
The silk blouse—an indication of visitors,
lemonade, mid-summer—crumples at her touch.

There is a man talking kindly.
Perhaps her husband, perhaps the gardener
who planted daffodils in the backyard.

In another room, someone plays Chopin.
Some keys have gone missing. She smiles
in the heartbreak between two notes. She listens.

Sundowning: the dark creeps like a noose
around her throat. We switch on lights
as if electricity could spark recognition in her eyes:

I’m Anne. You’re Claire, my mother.
On cards, an A becomes number four—
the solitaire of unreason. Our arms touch.

Briefly she finds warmth. Then,
questions, the shuffling of hysteria.
She crumbles under her card houses again.

Arlene Ang lives in a small town outside Venice, Italy. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Diagram, Forklift Ohio, The Pedestal, Poetry Ireland, Rattle, Smiths Knoll and Tattoo Highway. She is the author of "The Desecration of Doves" (iUniverse, 2005). Website: www.leafscape.org/aang

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761