'While we sleep here, we are awake somewhere else,
so that every man is in fact two men'
Jorge Luis Borges
I think I saw her once.
Almost asleep, head on the pillow,
limbs curled warm, I seemed
to pause, almost to turn.
She was a faint outline
waiting for colour to flood in.
She was poised, standing.
Her back was turned.
She wore a cloak, a hood
or robe that might become
the purest cobalt, her wrists
circled with tiny beads and bells.
Her stature was familiar,
the landscape strange -
the earth a ruddy brown
with crops close sown.
Ahead of her were roofs -
a settlement - but whether
she was seeking refuge
or escape, I cannot know.
Even in stillness I felt
her urgency, as if her frozen
figure ached to be released.
I let her go. I slept.
Cynthia Fuller was born in Kent but has lived in the North East since the 1980s, working freelance as a teacher of literature and creative writing in Adult and Higher Education, and with groups in the community. She has two grown up sons.
She has co-edited several poetry anthologies, including Smelter (Mudfog, 2003) with Kevin Cadwallender; The Poetry Cure (Bloodaxe, 2005) with Julia Darling and North By North East (Iron Press, 2006) with Andy Croft.
Her collections, Moving Towards Light (1992), Instructions for the Desert (1996), Only a Small Boat (2001), and Jack's Letters Home 1917-18 (2006) were published by Flambard, as is her new collection Background Music.
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Two Women © 2009 Cynthia Fuller: used with permission.
Copyright of this poem remains with the poet: please do not download or republish without permission.