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One flight up

One flight up

For weeks the flowers hung on her door

smartly packaged in white wrapping paper.

Her narrow form was not seen in the streets

nor did she crouch in the entrance way

checking that the outer door was locked.

No on knew where the old woman had gone.

She had not told anyone anything that deviated

form her normal routine. On the door

still hung the piece of paper that announced in sprawling hand

the reprisals that awaited short-sighted advertisement deliverers.

In the third week she suddenly turned up.

I think it was a Thursday.

It was the neighbour on the ground floor who

heard her radio echoing early one morning.

The stinking package of flowers was gone and soon enough

we learned again that she had filed a complaint

about the placing o the dustbins.

When I see her today I know that she is already

someone else, transformed by our concern

as though we had already made her into the image

we carry with us when she no longer exists.

Just as others own an archive of us which

afterwards remains when we have passed away.

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