her husband's clothes

She was standing alone on the shingle


Gazing across the

Silver ripple green gray water

To a horizon lost in mist.

She was tall

But not tall enough.

Wearing his too long baggy jeans

His old maroon cardigan

His worn and worn and worn again flat cap.

Tears coursed, unchecked, down her cheeks.

I tried to witness the fathoms of her grief.

She glanced over her shoulder,

Perhaps aware of being watched

In the way that some women do.

Then returned to whatever shred of peace

She was finding, standing on a beach

In her husband's clothes.

◄ The Cracked Pot

You and Me ►


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Hazel ettridge

Thu 18th Apr 2019 18:08

Cynthia, I just wrote what occurred to me at the time. A little while later, while drinking g tea in a beach cafe, lots of other possibilities popped into my head, but the original 'take' had touched me so I went with it.. It's just storytelling.

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Hazel ettridge

Thu 18th Apr 2019 18:04

Hi Graham, third person because the woman on the beach was real and she triggered my memories and my imagination.

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Thu 18th Apr 2019 10:35

This is a fine poem, Hazel.

I assumed the woman and her circumstance were known to you; she was not a stranger.

But, in your own comment, obviously, she was. It would be interesting to have a 'slant' on the situation that would indicate your 'take' on 'the scene' that was not one of pre-knowledge. Why you chose 'husband', for example. Or, even, why you assumed 'male' clothes just because they were 'larger than her'.

I just feel I can talk to you about 'things', discuss, learn more.Hope I'm right.

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Graham Sherwood

Thu 18th Apr 2019 09:29

Following your explanatory comments Hazel, I wonder why you’ve written this in the third person? Just curious.

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Hazel ettridge

Thu 18th Apr 2019 07:48

Hi David, the image of those neatly folded clothes is a powerful one. Another poem entirely. In this poem, I was remembering the times when I have enjoyed (?) wearing the clothes of people close to me who have died.

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Hazel ettridge

Wed 17th Apr 2019 10:27

Thank you for commenting, Keith, Frances and John.
Whenever I go down to the beach I am always inspired by something. This woman just caught my imagination. She was probably some ordinary soul on her tea break!!

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John Coopey

Tue 16th Apr 2019 19:10

Very touching, Hazel.
I confess I sometimes wear Our Gert's clothes when she's out at Weightwatchers.

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Frances Macaulay Forde

Tue 16th Apr 2019 18:56

I agree with Keith, Hazel.
A moment captured, beautifully.
Exactly what a poem should be...

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keith jeffries

Tue 16th Apr 2019 18:45


Melancholy yet a scene of not letting go after the loss of someone dearly loved. Clinging onto the possessions as if re living life with them but fully aware of the grief that saturates the heart. A poem which is sad but descriptive in the form of a neceassary act, perhaps of ultimate farewell.

Thank you

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