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There, on the veranda,
in the green light,
a breath of wind
rustles the jacaranda;


purple petals flutter
and fall, like bruises
on a dew-drenched lawn.


She rocks to sleep
as the chair sings
its own, sweet elegy
to the passing of time.


Her nightgown flaps
on the line – winged
like a bird in a no-hope bid
to take to the skies.


The breeze bends
the needle-thin stems
of the new-sprung fritillaria;


white heads bowed,
she bends with them.

Her soft, satin shawl
slips from her arms –


wooed by the thrum
of raindrops
on the old, tin roof.


Deep inside,
a malignancy grows –
spreads insidious
branches; blossom


ever-opening; pale
as dogwood and deadly
as the canker
that strangles the rose.


Her necklace glows green
through jade
that becomes her so.