Isobel Terry

The Inquest

The muscle of the wind
thrashes at her Ford Fiesta .
It nestles in beech trees,
in a nursery just off the lane.
She filled the tank and
I wonder did the person at the garage till gave her a smile ?
Her last smile. The receipt found in her satchel on the passenger seat
with her handwritten notes ‘ dog walkers gone by 830 ‘.

An art tutor gassed herself to death in a car at a part of the Derbyshire Dales she cherished, an inquest was told.

She sits waiting for the night. In the small wooden house
nearby for which she has the key
the yellow of the candle, the takeaway pizza.
In the glass of the window she sees her reflection,
a last prayer she leaves behind.

PC Andrew Weston told the Chesterfield inquest that a pipe had been connected from the exhaust to the interior of the car.

The wind crying and complaining
rocks not each tree separately but all together
in a boundless wave of fury. The grass beneath is still.
Cut branches of larch batter on the car roof
placed by her as camouflage.

The body was found laying across the back seat of the vehicle parked a short way into woodland. The engine was running.

This time there will be no leakage,
no escape of air. The windows are carefully sealed with tape.
The fumes contained. This time she will not be found.
The website instructions show her clearly how
to make it work this time.

Oh the calm of the airtight interior,
the lull of a sonata on the radio.
The steel band clenched around her skull is finally loosening
A closed mouth, of lips sealed. No sound just
of breath in through her nostrils.
Vision is the first to go.

She had a history of depression and left a note inside the vehicle.

The pain is like falling in quick sand,
a smothering confinement, of unbearable proportions.
‘I don’t want you to die ‘ I hold her hand
I stroke her skin with my thumb. A gesture I sense she cannot feel.
‘So you want me to suffer then’ she replies
a sharp blade pierces through my chest.
It wedges in my lungs.

Entry was forced into the vehicle but the 44 year old was already dead.

It is a wind of memory
of lilac lavender in June and the jade in a Cornish sea,
of the raspberry red geraniums on her grandmothers doorstep,
of yellow daffodils bobbing in her sisters backyard.
It is a wind of colours
that deepen into purple and blue black
with the fading of light.

I close my eyes, in the darkness
I see a dust, of gold, descending.
I hear the back gate banging on its hinges,
she is no more.
The bare trees bow their heads.
For a moment the wind is still.

The Coroner recorded a verdict of death from self administered carbon monoxide poisoning. Her parents, her sister and her husband were there to hear the verdict.

The wind walks through the hole of her departure.
It makes a howling sound.
It does not blow away the grass.
The spring comes, my muscles move.
And new air finally I breathe.

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One comment on “Isobel Terry

  1. fantastic use of imagery words are fragmented and then collated into a deeper understanding of the poem.
    Sad but enigmatic.

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