Gap in My Heart

The empty space where you used to be

Fills me with sudden misery

The gap that appeared next to the chair-

I look for you, and you’re not there.

Hairs on the rug remind me of you,

The things we used to see and do.

Now I am dogless, without a dog;

It hits me, fills my brain with fog.

I went out and saw a dog the same,

Which made me cry and feel insane;

I hope you’re up in heaven somehow;

I hate my life without you now.

 

 

 

 

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A Book at the Beach

At the beach, my favourite place,

The wind blowing my hair into my face,

A stranger approaches to chit chat;

To be polite about this and that.

 

Amongst the grassy dunes, sandwich in hand,

My toes drying out in the gritty sand,

The ice cream van goes tinkling past,

So I go to buy a Fab at last.

 

Near the end of the pier I’ve opened my book,

But now I’ve got to take another look

At the surfers, learning to surf down below

Falling and splashing everywhere they go.

 

I lie down to sunbathe under blue skies,

Yet clouds roll in over seagulls’ cries,

As the rain starts to fall and won’t leave me alone

I decide it’s best if I just go back home.

 

Here on the sofa with tea at my side,

I don’t have to worry about high or low tide;

I’m determined to see, by hook or by crook,

Whatever will happen next in my book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorting

Feeling sentimental over boxes;

Boxes of knick-knacks,

Clothes, cards, old gifts.

I cannot let go of these things;

Each one reminds me of the past.

The skirt I wore to my first day of college,

Folded over a stack of tickets;

Cinema tickets, train tickets, exhibition tickets,

Faded ink and forgotten films and journeys.

Forgotten until I go through these boxes.

I have kept every letter ever written to me;

Handwritten, with scribbles and doodles and stickers.

However I cannot keep every book I have read,

As I have filled the attic already-

My bookcase is overflowing too.

“Just use an E-reader”, you say,

Then I will not remember the first time

The book was opened,

Neither will I enjoy the smell of its pages.

Now I try to find the balance

For my home:

Between clinical, impersonal, empty,

And a hoarder’s paradise:

A museum of my own life,

Stuffed to bursting with things I never use,

Because they are not for using;

Yet they are mine and I hold them dear.

 

Fade Away

How long do I have to wait

Before everything stops reminding me of you?

Your face is framed clearly in my mind,

Although I was never good with faces.

I find them hard to picture and they blur,

Distorted and foggy.

Your face will not leave me now.

No detail will leave me;

The figures on your shelves

Or the coffee in your cupboards

Are imprinted in my head

Like your fingers on my back

Moving softly down my spine;

I remember but I wish I could forget.

When can I turn the radio on again

Or walk to work the way I used to go

Without regretting it?

It has been a long time now;

You get farther away,

But you won’t disappear.

 

 

To My Old House

Nothing to do one day,

Crouched on the ground

Watching the washing machine

And the tumble dryer.

I could feel the rumble,

Rumble on the concrete

Flecked with paint;

Cobwebs lingered overhead

In the outhouse

Of this old house;

A tall creaky house

Where I never felt alone,

Where meat hooks still hung

And basement steps led to nowhere.

I could hear through the walls

Of this old house,

I could feel through the windows

The cold wind

Blowing us through the halls.

It felt like sometimes

We were only blown around,

Tossed about like the clothes

In the washing machine,

In the tumble dryer.

 

 

 

 

Rehearsal

I do not know how to waltz,

Yet I could learn;

Awed by the grace of the practised dancers

Swirling and twirling

With the ease of a swan,

In silver dresses and dark suits,

I could take to the floor with you,

Stumbling and laughing,

Becoming sure-footed in time.

 

Although we do not know this piece,

Played by the violins and cellos,

We can learn that too.

Humming to ourselves

The repeated strains;

Gentle dancing quavers

Which float and shiver

Until we memorise them.

 

I do not know what we will say

To one another

When we return home.

Like the music and the waltz though

The words will run through my mind,

In a comforting rhythm,

When I think of you.