Mudlark No. 41 (2010)

Caitlin Tales Him Back to Wales

In her cabin, her deck chair,
mingling at mealtime with the living,
she does not know how she feels,
except inappropriately undesolated,
captive to grim reiterations of their years,
outraged by all that has been allowed,
secretive about her identity
and the morbid presence of the coffin
somewhere down in the hold,
inert, speechless, extinguished Dylan therein,
he a genuine scop, rhapsodic soliloquist,
vanishing spouse, lecher, alcoholic,
thief of loose change or a shirt wherever a guest,
frenzied exhibitionist at pubs and soirees,
cleverly undeceived by his charlatan perversities,
she, too, with literary pretensions,
in her own words a fighting Irish drunk,
comical, contentious, recklessly promiscuous,
he the inventor in his adolescence
of himself as an enchanted Welsh fable,
from which he became a fugitive and a victim,
she the caregiver to their wretched domesticities,
cruelly conflicted, nomadic, impoverished,
surviving with three children
on the meager proceeds from his hackwork
and the alms or hospitality of acquaintances,
she leaning against the rail in moonlight,
overtaken by liberation and fear, defiance and lust
in expectation of her leftover life,
imagines him posturing at the prow,
declaiming to the sea and Europe.

Oliver Rice | Mudlark No. 41 (2010)
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