Lorna Crozier – Work: A study in solitude

photo credit: Eleni Preza


Lorna Crozier
Work: A study of solitude

The village bells toll so loud and long it must be Sunday.
Otherwise she wouldn’t have known. The days
seep, one into the other, as though painted
on home-made paper improperly dried. It means
she has no meaningful work to do, no clock waiting.
It means she can continue her amateur study of solitude,
the fine distinctions between it and loneliness
though loneliness is getting close enough for her to feel
its chill—no, not a chill, more a displacement in the air
as when water in a pond thickens and inches higher
because an unseen animal, bigger than an otter, lowers into it.
She notes this presence without fear, with a practiced
almost fierce indifference. She is trying to live
like the old dancer in Japan. He told his son,
old now, too, he wanted to dance the way
the lotus dances, calmly, without any flashy display.
When she takes the trouble to pull on shoes
and step into the private silence of a Sunday
after bells, she is trying to walk like a dead body
risking its life by planting its feet firmly on the ground.