Veterans at the train station
arriving through mist and fogged windows,
drizzle framing the platform. I watch
the pensioners now, faces bob
over scarlet uniforms, buttons
as shiny as the business end of a bayonet.
For a moment I think
of reunions, hot tea
scalding good china, tiny
sandwiches soft between
off, I pin on the bloody petals
forgetting the horror of it all.
lost deep beneath the mud.
It appears I’ve given up sleep for lent.
Now I lie awake, a connoisseur of the different tones
of dark. The even tide of your breath. And
further, a golden thread stretches from my heart
to the soft and shallow flutter of our children.
A symphony of inhalations.
I fight the urge to shake the jar,
to pierce your skin,
crushed velvet, red,
tender as a baby’s wink.
Your tiny heart is frantic, as
you wonder why the sky is so low.
Pressed like a cut flower
in between pages.
The dust from your petals leaves grease marks
on the lines.
Jennie E. Owen’s writing has won competitions and has been widely published online, in literary journals and anthologies. She is a University Lecturer of Creative Writing and lives in Mawdesley, Lancashire with her husband and three children.