Rosemary Purse-Robinson

MATCHSTICK VALLEY

think of him when a nor’wester turns
as the southerly crests Scarborough Hill
and leaks down the valley to

flatten the surf at Taylors Mistake
blue lips tanned skin and
on skeletal arms grey fuzzed
the brutal steroid bruises
blossoming below

his now much too big shirt sleeve
wind-flapping like hope
when they said the emphysema

had moved to critical
creeping over the hill into
the cold valley where he

dropped a match

to the pine cone fire set in the grate

against southerly blows