I’d known Dionne since her coming out
by David Lewis Paget
In a dress of tulle, in cream,
And held my breath when she took the floor
To glide like an autumn dream.
My eyes had followed her, all that night
As she danced from hand to hand,
I knew from then I would be in thrall,
She became my promised land.
She married badly the first time, and
I thought that she’d come to me,
She leapt from the fat of the frying pan
To the fire of the Presbytery,
Her husband Sol gave his sermons on
The fires in the pit of Hell,
Eternal moans in a fire of bones
With a terrible brimstone smell.
She seemed subdued, in a sullen mood
When I went to tea one day,
I asked her if she was happy now
But she simply looked away.
I saw a tear on her dainty cheek
And it took me by surprise,
‘I’m such a fool, ’ she revealed to me,
‘I should have been more than wise.’
She said she wished she had never wed
For the first had made her cry,
He’d come home drunk for a solid month
And she said, she’d wondered why.
‘I loved him then, and I slaved for him
For I thought that he loved me too,
But then I heard about Annabelle,
And she, just one of a few.’
She married, after a swift divorce
A man with a flinty soul,
‘So much different to Adam, he
Is true, but his love is cold.
He tortures me with his tales of Hell,
Of sin in this earthly place,
And threatens that I might meet him there
If I don’t live in God’s Grace.’
She told me about a yellow doll
That she’d had since she was four,
She’d lavished love and affection on
But she didn’t, anymore.
He’d burnt its hands and he’d burnt its feet
When he’d been annoyed with her,
And said that she was the yellow doll,
The devil was waiting for.
I told her that she should leave him
That the man must be insane,
And told her that I would take her home,
That I would bear the blame.
She smiled at me with her sad blue eyes
And she said, ‘You’re really sweet,
But he has threatened to hunt me down
If he sees me in the street.’
She said he’d threatened to burn her feet
As he’d done, the yellow doll,
She’d not be able to walk again
And leave him, like a trull.
I left that day with a heavy heart
But at least, I knew the score,
Though when I tried to return again
I found that he’d barred the door.
The months went by and I thought of her
For she never left my head,
But then one day came the welcome news,
It seemed that he was dead.
I stood well back at the funeral
And I watched the widow’s face,
Under the flimsy widow’s veil
She shone with an inner grace.
We kept apart for a month or two
But I knew that she was mine,
We tried to avoid a scandal, it
Was just a question of time,
We married after a year had gone
He’d long been in the ground,
We couldn’t believe the harmony
And the love that we had found.
But then on a cold, black winter’s day
Dionne cried out aloud,
For beating hard on the cedar door
There was someone in a shroud,
And lying there on the welcome mat
Lay the little yellow doll,
Its feet were totally charred and black
And Dionne cried out, ‘It’s Sol! ’
She clung to me and was petrified
And I tried to calm her down,
‘It can’t be Sol, for you saw him planted
Six feet under the ground.’
The shroud continued to beat the door
And Dionne, her voice was grim,
She pointed to the doll on the floor,
‘I buried the doll with him! ’
27 May 2014