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 notĀ forĀ using;

Yet they are mine and I hold them dear.

 

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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.

 

 

Chills

Like the frost she is sharp

And it is winter when she comes.

We shiver through her howling

As the short days end,

Darkness bringing its own memories.

 

None can escape her cold embrace:

Hugging her feels like rain,

Stones, hail at your back.

Like a December storm

She is frightening.

 

Wrapped up in coats and scarves,

The frost a sheen on our cheeks,

She crosses our path,

Thorough and menacing,

And we feel it in our bones.

 

Like the snow she brings us silence.

We are muffled in her presence;

Unsure, watching our step.

It sounds like peace but underneath

Lies certain danger.

 

 

 

Unspoken

“It is so sweet that you care.

Thank you for trying to help me.”

Those are the words I want to say;

Trapped in my throat before they reach you,

They sputter and fall

In the air between us,

Heavy with regret.

 

Although my gratitude remains unspoken

I hope you know what I want to say,

Because I am thankful to you.

Everyday I have new reasons to be.

Yet how can I expect you to know,

As if you can read all my thoughts

In my eyes or on my lips?

 

I want to tell you that

Sometimes I need to fuck up,

To see the damage I cause.

Do not bring me back

From this chasm;

I do not want you

To fall in with me.