kodokushi (when living becomes a form of punishment)

two long decades of stagnant watching
the joy and light
of sharing
those precious little things…
descend further and further
backwards into the unobtainable past.
she mind-cramped through
cold, cruel mornings,
soul-sapping,
draaaaaaagggggggging afternoons,
to climb
the now photo-less walls
into anxious, insomnia nights
of pitch-perfect loneliness.
they found her (no capital letters)
stuck and decomposing
upon the two-seater sofa,
three months
after the spirit
had given up the desperate,
impossible fight,
and simply up and drifted away
from its prison cell like
body of despair…
because of a burst water pipe
in the next apartment.
no one missed her, no one cared,
clothing and meagre possessions
were boxed and charity shopped…
and her life became reduced to
paperwork, inside a thin file titled ‘vera’

Paul Tristram is a widely published Welsh writer, who’s currently up to his elbows in Magic, and long may it remain this way. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.