She’d have known him anywhere
by his height, by his chest barrelled
like an ox, by his scars, by the way
he looked at her, by the way he kicked
the last suitor down the stairs.
She stood by the fire like a statue,
hoping to unfreeze her veins, warm
to welcome him; when she opened
her mouth nothing came, certainly
no sound he could recognize.
I am come, he said not looking at her
but at the mirror that hung above her head,
there he saw his face crumble as if the silvering
had slipped but not before it imperfectly caught
the shadow of birds she’d woven, take flight.
The Return by Lyn Thornton was commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (November 2017) judged by Abegail Morley.