After the revolution

by Marie Marshall

He had been a capitalist of so great ascent that he had once been called a captain of commerce; now such things were put by, and the jut of his jaw was bravado, belied by the glisten of sweat on his forehead. He was genuinely puzzled when we asked him for his secret dream; having taken a few breaths he said he had always wanted to work with wood, to feel the buzz of the grain against his thumb and the satisfaction of pulling a splinter from his finger when the carpentry was done. We found him a job in a boat yard, the period of his employment was inverse to his aptitude. Eventually he found a niche caring for a girl with Down’s syndrome, who came to call him uncle and to love him. There is no success without attempt; things balance eventually. I have heard that often he expressed something like the guilt of a survivor, which he was until he died of a heart attack; he was found in a water closet, the type that is so small that you have to rest your elbow in the hand-basin and gaze into the mirror. There would have been no pain.


The online literary magazine qarrtsiluni is currently publishing poems in a series themed imitation. The entry for 7th May is my O great maritime bears, which is an emulation of poet Lisa Jarnot. The theme of imitation continues to the bio note which is an imitation of a telegram by the artist Balthus. From the qarrtsiluni site you can download a podcast of the poem, read by Dani Adomaitis.