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  • Taryn Dunkin

The Visit

Updated: Mar 20


Thus we spend our years with sighing: it is a valley of tears, but death is the funeral of all our sorrows.

—Thomas Watson



Cara soars out the door past

mum's pursed lips to the hillside.

She scampers up to the vista,

stupid and brilliant as a teenager

fleeing towards honking friends

on a Friday night.


It's dead quiet.


The stillness screams starkly

at the smog of city noise still

faintly ringing in her ears.

Bustling ghosts evaporating

against the halt of coastal air.


She flops backwards into the

asters and a billow of ragweed

catches her body like a parachute.

Inhaling, she stretches and squints

one eye at the garden,

smiling wryly at the buttercups

that mum wrestled out last year.

They gleam cheekily out of careful

rows of orange tulips, several

more than there were.


The wind suspends its breath

as she feels for the turn of season,

fingers spread on the grass.

Lying very still in the earth,

Cara’s thoughts drift to

the way the roots of a seed

reach low into the dirt before

being summoned into the sky.

Her eyelids close, and open,

until twilight cloaks her

bare shoulders with dusk.


A candle flickers at each window like a

vigil as she walks back down to mum's house.

She blows one out on the way in the door

with the gusto of a kid over a birthday

cake who doesn’t want any boyfriends.


Kissing her father on the top of his head,

she walks up the hollow wooden stairs,

waiting for the delayed mumble of goodnight

and something about the newspaper.


She blows out one more candle and a light

laugh parts her lips to grace the dark

of her old room. A ribbon of smoke

unravels from the wick in front

of the window and her eye drifts with its

indecisive merengue into sleep.


Ashes to the wind or confetti, Cara thinks,

depending on one's point of view.




1 Corinthians 15:42-44

1 Peter 1:23-25


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