• The Blue and White Magazine

Measure for Measure, May 2018

Through the scratched glass of the sky painted window,In the center of the kitchen that we all wished was a couple feet wider, There is a family and a table, a square table. Dancing blonde hair tickles eyeballs and their pupils While ketchuped lasagna is scooped into smiles and maybe even giggles. Stories are told and responded to with stories. Trying to plan Christmas, our Christmas. Trying to repay our parents With a painting of their children enjoying the world In a way they have forgotten how to do but not how to feel. This moment here now. Look closer. Foggy pupils dissolve in red-veined eye sockets. We keep talking with fear of death at stopping, We keep commenting on how the lasagna is so much better this week With fear of looking at eachother as human flesh. Bare, naked and maimed in the wilderness, Running from shadows. This is the waiting room for a sorrowful journey Away from anything as pleasant as the people we think we might be. Maybe. Look closer, We shuffle into varnished pews, We look forward at the hanging prince of peace, We try to work out if the priest is reusing jokes about John’s Gospel. We look up. We feel we are alone. The house will be silent for an hour on return. While we all feel the way eternity stretches beyond us and behind us. Sitting in our grey rooms, with feathers poking sharp out of the pillows. We shiver at the thought of it Or is it just me? Look closer, Blackened mirrors bounce fragments of conversations into every corner. This, overtime, occupies space that really ought to be left alone, Especially when we have to dig out the nice teapot for our. Guests. Sip, “So then we realized we were in completely the wrong place” Sip “So we all bundled back into the car with our clubber” Sip “And would you believe it, the dog had run off!” Sip “But not to worry we made it in the end. My word this is good cake! Do I taste almonds?” Perhaps, it won’t be like this until I die. Perhaps, mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the lord. And he comes with far more than lost dogs and… and almonds. Look closer, stop messing around, pay attention. The neighbours say father Mathews died slow. They say they heard the wailing every day around six, They say some nights it was too much, They say they began to hate him. The trains are down from here to London, We are encouraged to consider “Alternative routes over the Christmas period.” No chance of that, No, I think the First Great Western pamphlet was used to get the fire started Before the front door was locked shut. Whilst tears land on wrapping paper upstairs.

—Frank Baring

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