Mr Rochester’s Secret

by Judith Howe

Stay,
Remain in your ancient attic
Restrained
Remembered only
By the husband who hates to recall
The satin tresses that once caressed your shoulder
Now greying, worn
With no adoring audience
Stay, and fill with bitterness
Feel its acidity rise and bubble in your fractured mind
Twisting, turning, transforming
Until you have reached its definition
No longer what once was but now spectre, ghoul, demon
Baba Yaga waiting until darling Jane is sleeping
Hungry, hurt
Escaping the attic in flames