Greta Stoddart

3 Poems

Slow Cinema

Slow Cinema
You’re late
but it doesn’t matter with this one
says the man just go on in
and the place is empty
so the film’s showing to no one
and as it happens it happens
to be showing
an empty auditorium
much like the one you’ve just sat down in
with a stand of red raked seats
and a side door in the left wall
which after a while opens
and a woman walks in
with a brace – or boot –
on one foot
which makes a loud clumping sound
as she walks slowly across the floor
in front of the seats.
You feel the weight of it
as she climbs the central steps
lifting it behind her
before she turns down a row
and bends to pick something up
then straightens and walks slowly
back along the row
back down the steps
placing the braced foot carefully down before her
as if it were the most important part
of her body
(which being damaged
you could say it was)
and back she goes

along the front of the seats
and out the side door
leaving you sitting there
in the empty auditorium
watching the red seats
and listening to the silence
which now she has left it has changed.
If anything it is more whole.
What it had been waiting for
has happened so now
it can fold in on itself
and open out –
fold in on itself
and open out …
oh what is this mystery that is
another person who is
essentially you
who haven’t dared go back
to look for the lost thing
for fear of the sound
your heart would make
fear that if you found it
it would mean nothing
and everything
would be the same.



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