A single ant marches purposefully
Along rivulets of moss
Like external arteries
Clinging to weathered bricks

She watches in stillness and silence
No longer a slave to time
Simply no other place to be
Nowhere to feel needed

Her place is here for eternity
An orchard of trees in September
Bearing their favourite fruit
A reminder of a shared lifetime

Leaves flutter against autumn’s breath
Wordless, papery voices that reassure
She is never to be alone
Despite not conversing for days

A withered frame to reach no more
She can only imagine the taste
The wind befriends her
And places offerings at her feet

She stoops to retrieve her prize
Her spit and apron as polish
She fetches a knife and two plates
A habit never to be broken

A few moments before bliss
She is unable to mask
Her sorrow at the apple’s sheen
Against gnarled arthritic hands

Laying the plates before her
She is still for a moment
Waiting; then a familiar presence
Her soul awakens and takes flight

She feels him steady her hand
As she cuts through the skin and flesh
She hears him whisper on the wind
And finds comfort in her tears

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