Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Watercolour by Tony Taylor http://www.paintingbreaksguernsey.com

Monday, 17 August 2015

THE INVISIBLE MAN

Like most children, I believed that if I shut my eyes and held my breath I’d become invisible. 
Sometimes it worked but often it didn’t and Hide ‘n Seek proved to be a far greater challenge than I’d imagined.
Growing older, we become invisible.  

Around the start of middle-age it becomes clear that the young have ceased to acknowledge our presence, and by the time we're really old we disappear entirely.
Whilst this kind of invisibility may be a something of a blow to the ego, there is comfort to be derived from ceasing to be a subject of scrutiny.  
If we keep our heads down, squeeze our eyes shut and hold our breath, maybe we'll be able to slip away unnoticed.

 
INVISIBLE

In the den, he hunkers down, holds his breath,
makes himself
invisible.

Oblivious, the Parkies stand six feet away
and speak in angry tones:
a broken pane, some daffodils beheaded.

He hears them toss his name
back and forth between them
and holds his breath to make himself invisible.

It is summer. He is eight years old.

He lies beneath white sheets and tries to breathe.
He is very small: not eight years old but eighty.
The room is full of snow.

Light spills through a high window
like radiance unfolding.

He hears voices rise and fall and makes himself
invisible.

The voices drift.  


He hears them toss his name
back and forth between them
and tries to breathe.

What matter now, the broken pane, those headless daffodils?
Will summer come again?

He makes himself invisible.
It is easy now
with no more breath to hold.

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