Scraps of her conversation
drift near the ceiling

of the rooms of my house:
torn-away phrases

buoyant now she has left
rest briefly at the top of the walls

like moths
then bob free.

The bits of speech are lonely
separated from her

from each other. Even when they lived
in her mouth

these words were orphans, had no siblings
were raised in institutions

or by strangers. Theirs is the solitude
of a flag abandoned on a windless lifeless

moon, the pennant displayed
by means of a wire frame, surrounded

by a powdered grey surface
reaching for horizons of frozen stone.

The discarded sounds
stay aloft in my rooms’ upper corners.

Outside it was winter overnight.
It will be winter

this afternoon. It will be winter
all evening.

Among Tom Wayman's recent books are a poetry collection, Dirty Snow (Harbour, 2012), a novel, Woodstock Rising (Dundurn, 2009), and a critical monograph, Songs Without Price: The Music of Poetry in a Discordant World (U of Vancouver Island, 2008). He lives in southeastern B.C. 's Selkirk Mountains.