By Frances Gaudiano


I found the champagne bottle in the garage,
Under your worktable. 
It was covered in dust, but still intact.
A gift to us when we moved here,
Was it only last year?

I should have wiped the bottle clean.
Instead, I tore off the foil and unwired the cork.
I freed it with a pop, outdoors,
So nothing indoors could be damaged.
I took down the glasses you bought at Christmas.
Yours was left on the side,
Mine filled to the brim. I took a sip.
The celebration tasted of dust.

The Butterfly House

Sitting silent
The stained glass wings
Flutter by my face.

Too delicate to touch,
Too beautiful to ignore. 

The needle like proboscis,
Such an ugly word!
Reaches deep into
The funnel of a flower,
Sipping long, wing beating
Frantic with effort,
Balancing in mid-air.

All this work,
For sweetness and grace.

Why didn’t I think?

The windows all were
 in the village hall
Where the sparrow
  fretted up and down the
past the lavatories,
the office, the creche,
Tapping at the glass
 begging for the light.

I crept slowly, ever so slow,
  a towel in hand – 
I would catch it., 
 Be the Saviour and return it 
  to its rightful place.

Cornered, it stopped,
  wild heart beating
 far too rapid to count.

I threw the darkness over it,
    but tiny, hopeful thing
fought to escape
 and flew, with all speed,
  into what should have been the sky.

I take the quiet form
    in my hand, 
Lifting it from the floor,
 where it lay too still. 
No breath, no beat, 
   No flutter of life,
All gone
  by my rescue attempt. 

Why didn’t I think to open the door
  and set it free?

Frances Gaudiano has had poems published in Last Stanza, Witches and Pagans and a short story in Mythulu. Last year, Veneficia Press published her novel – The Listener | Veneficia ( Her non-fiction work includes several articles for the veterinary press and a textbook on Veterinary Dermatology.

Gaudiano’s ‘day job’ is as a veterinary nurse, a profession she has enjoyed for nearly thirty years. Prior to becoming a veterinary nurse, she earned my M.A. in Dramatic Literature from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She worked in theatre as a stage manager in England, California and Indonesia. She also briefly taught school but soon realised that animals are much easier to work with than children. Currently, Frances Gaudiano resides in Cornwall, England – a beautiful, dramatic place where you can occasionally swim with a seal.

2 thoughts on “Dust and Other Poems

  1. Pingback: Aesthetic Dreams

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