when a person died, black cloth was draped
across all views to guard
the roaming soul from venturing outside.
She didn’t hold with this idea.
So she chose one large picture: Connemara
on a good day, windless, treeless, grassy, dry,
a stretch of country she had never seen.
This graced the room she sat in going blind
for over twenty years, a mild sunlit scene
above the unlit space where her old head would rest.
The seeing soul … she thought its last
initiative should be to launch and fare
forward unencumbered into salt-bright air.
Kate Miller is an English poet with one collection to her name, The Observances (Oxford Poets 2015). Her forthcoming collection draws on the unpublished writings of Muriel Jardine, born in India in 1896, grand, great and great great-grandmother to a new generation of Australians.