I first met her when I jumped over an escalator
and dashed though the closing doors of a train
she was smiling at me from her seat
as our carriage pulled out of the station.
Later that day in a bookstore
I read her a poem about a quiet man
who came from so far away
that he didn’t expect to arrive.
Wild orchids emerged in the Hithergreen
hooded plovers arrived in the wetlands
and they came to roost at her window
in the twilight hour of pearl.
We married on the Derwent River
and drifted into the South Pacific
where late at night an electrical storm
pulsed silently over dark waters.
Later that year when she was discharged from the ward
I took her to see southern right whales
as they ploughed though the icy waves
on their long annual migration.
The sky was biblically heavy
columns of broken light shimmered on the horizon
and when the hailstones fell we sheltered together
beneath the leaves of an old grass tree.
I remember her staring into space;
her brown eyes frozen in time
were swept away on the edge of a season
that passed before it arrived.
The quiet man: A reference to the Jorge Luis Borges poem Boast of Quietness.
The Hithergreen: Is on the edge of Whicher National Park in Western Australia.
The twilight hour of pearl: A reference to ‘It is the hour of pearl, the interval between day and night when time stops and examines itself’, from John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row.
Peter Horgan has studied for a bachelor of science and works in quality assurance. When he isn’t monitoring production lines or leafing through QA manuals, he dreams about being an artist. He’s the author of a self-published novel, but these days prefers narrative-style poems on the everyday experiences of city and personal life.