Her father’s dark clock out in the cold hallway strikes four, then quarter past. Its relentless dependability reminds of his carping condemnations, that should have stopped at the grave. She rustles across wasting carpet, to drawback lace curtain from lattice window; and for the tenth time, the only visitor is the breeze that April brings.
In the scantest of moments, Hope slides into Helplessness, forcing her towards the glow of the fireplace. She leans across the coolness of the marble and reacting to the reflection of white disappointment, she takes the roundness of cheek between finger and thumb; a pinch in place of rouge, providing proof of life within … and without.
She unleashes herself from its glaze of smugness, and perches on the edge of a straight-backed chair in the corner, by the window, where dreams were once stitched.
A rebellious curl is swept away from the coal-black eye; red on creamy fingers. The thundering announcement of half past the hour crushes the indifference of trickling expectancy; causing one last searching of eyes, beyond the honeyed columbine, towards a winding road, that leads nowhere.
No horse straining at the bit. No man waving smile of surrender. Curtain replaced, she steps away to collect the untouched refreshments and notices a faded, but compelling presence, nestling in the shade of silver’s arrogance.
The woman in black takes the petal to her lips, for they are sisters in their singularity and in their secret. Unable to fly heavenwards; trapped by murderers’ curses; they are echoes of butterflies’ wings.
A petal fades, and floating through a rusty sword of sunlight, it lands; butterfly wing on a pretty pink table. He hadn’t come!
Ciao for now!