This earring always reminded me of the 5 o’clock sun
peeking out behind the Blue Mountains –
the gem you once wore in your left ear
behind kinky silvery-grey hair, granny.
I rest it in the cradle of my palm;
like Atlas, I cannot let this sacred orb crash
to the floor like you did on a Sunday last spring.
That morning when I read to you,
you kept your eyes closed,
rubbed the knob in your ear religiously,
told me how you found poetry funny
when them writer bwoys always a seh
is only Autumn tings can dead;
I laughed and remembered one ‘writer boy’
who wondered out loud why people can’t just die anymore.
But I never told you that –
the sudden raspy cough jerking your body forward
shut me up instead.
I never knew where you got this one earring from,
I just assumed you picked it up off the roadside
like every other carouches old people find
as fandangle to decorate their homes,
but now my vision swims with this doused orange sun
and in the midst of it, a haunting memory of your broken arm
jutting out from your static body, flat as the mat
at the foot of the living-room stairs.