AN IMAGE IN AN ATTIC
(Sharon Hughes, 2009)
 
The breeze took hold of the torn curtain
standing in the cracked, unwashed window.
Those looking in from the outside were certain
an aged, disfigured woman stood staring down
at their merriment; despising the youthful
pleasures she had wretchedly never known.
They surmised that she had died up there, alone.
 
A dare was thrown down to delve into her past.
Was she an illusion, conjured by unbridled minds?
A solitary hand went up to take on the task.
A craggy tree growing close to the window
seemed the perfect path for the courageous youth
to take, toward her commission to borrow
some of the hidden secrets that had been stowed.
 
The arm chair rocked, creaking eerily.
A doll had lost her head; her smile,
somewhat faded; her eyes, offset and bleary.
A dusty chest sat conspicuously in a corner;
begging to be unlocked. Its’ treasures cried
out for someone to discover the answers
to questions, longing to be asked for centuries.
 
A handful of musty old books lay unopened
for what seemed to be an eternity to this
child; who had come from a rather utopian
existence in comparison. A piece of paper
rested, crumpled on a dusty dressing table.
What secrets might have escaped her?
Did this decrepit old woman leave diaries?
 
These words were scrawled across the page…
Neath this frail and worn skin,
a heart left bruised and wearing thin.
There is no reason left to sing;
of life and love, or better things.”
The rhyme was anguished, full of pain.
The young girl folded it away.
 
She left the hidden secrets there, to move
toward the broken ledge and climbed upon
the sill; then glimpsed the swaying rocking chair.
A frail figure rocked in it, a smile had crossed her face.
She nodded toward an opened box; the girl had
found a brooch, the name engraved was ‘Grace’.
The child nodded, smiling; and left her there to sway.
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