Barfleur Normandi


Someone killed a chicken last night.

Cut off its head in the garden, while wearing a white linen summer suit and espadrilles.

Everyone laughed, London -type laughs, this is not my country laughs, forgot the children were near laughs, tried to quiet down because the grandmother is in mourning, laughs.

He plucked it for the roast with a rolled up cigarette in between jaundiced fingers. Everyone gathers around to watch white feathers fly up.

But the grandmother sat by the window and mourned because no one could be near her.

Just beyond the garden wall the harbor symphony calls out like sharp rain hitting metal cups. Small working boats wait while fishermen eyed and spied like hunched up ravens, dark and smoking pipes. Crooked sneers mending nets, washing decks, in galoshes and heavy lanolin  blue jerseys.

They are all drunk on wicked Calvados and loosing limbs to prove it, crutches, walking canes and a wheel-chair or two. The fishermen morn the loss of their body parts by tying empty pant legs and sleeves into knots for their conversations with those gods that punish.

Someone’s newspaper blows in the wind, pages fray across the boardwalk, one lands plastered against the wall of the grandmother’s holiday house where the fuchsia plants hang in baskets off the Normandy stone . It lands Like a giant stamp  as if to mail the household back to England.

Restless pigeons spray up from the rafters into the milky sky with a whoosh

While “Canary in a Coal mine” plays loudly in the kitchen.

Someone is peeling potatoes in earthly tones as scraps pile up in the sink

Someone is soaking some seaweed in a bucket.

A jaunty dog arrives  leading with his nose scaring up the chickens  to squawk in the back again

Someone shouts a Cheers! as the family all toast another day well spent doing nothing but avoiding the heaviness in the room.

One of the red headed twins screams from the eaves

Someone runs up the stairs with staccato beats. Its dusk and the bats fly into the house again.

And here the woman sits by the window

 sits still like a person who has lost her left arm,

Though no knots are required to be tied at her sleeve just two in her hanky never to forget.

sits still like a woman who cant go on

sits still as an empty bottle, while everything moves like a hive around her because


Mike is Dead.

© 2017 Amelia Fleetwood.  Ojai, California 

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