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Stewart & Ostrowski – February 2018

Nicole Ostrowski and Gerry Stewart traded art and words. Nicole shared this image, entitled “Congrats from the Afterlife,” with Gerry:

In response, Gerry wrote this poem:

From the Afterlife

You skirt the void I left,
too tight for anyone else
to squeeze into
but large enough
that you cannot fill it
with busy work and idle chatter.
It echoes every tear
you whisper.

I remain with you posed,
a holiday snapshot
capturing the faultless,
impossible moment,
our frustrations,
my imperfections edited out.
My favourite cup left
in the cupboard,
its musty smell a reminder.

I still see the Billy Idol lip-curl
you’re unaware of
when you brush your hair.
Your ankles cracking in bed,
always leaving
the blue sweets uneaten,
moments I cherish.

This shared anchor of memories
will drag us down
unless we pull free.
For now I greedily steal
another sunset together,
linger over your sleeping face.

* * * * *

Gerry shared this poem with Nicole:


Swaddled in woollen layers
against growing up too fast,
memories scratch
into her skin’s new fabric

I long to encase her smile in amber
before teething cuts into its perfection.

Gather her cornsilk curls
before they are shorn away
and she skips off,
a surefooted lamb
into the wilderness.

I whisper secrets over her
and protection charms
with the early nursing cuddles.
I surrender
to her coral rosebud murmurs.

She pushes against me,
dreams running between us
like a silk thread.
My strength is hers
until she finds her own

Her loud, sweet song
bursts forth
to tame the world’s silence.

In response, Nicole made this image, entitled “Boosh”:

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