Karen Wheatcroft

Three Poems

here, in France

when dinner talk abruptly stops, and silence falls over its guests
like the freak rain that buried our village lawns

in Saharan sand one night, someone will say;     un ange       passe
and everyone will nod, feeling the narrative sag,

allowing the gap that time makes for an angel       to pass;
for him to work his slow arc over our heads.       some

will even look up, as if to stare the roof off,
because such messengers still exist and move

between us here. whilst only the giant fresco of night
will feel the beat of his exhausted wings, find greying feathers

snagged on its stars       later, the guests’ primitive self
will recall its decaying gods.   this sudden pause is like the air-lock

before explosion;       when a room    knowing itself
to be on the brink       holds       its breath


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