Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Where have you gone? Once you followed me everywhere, we ran in the park all day. I made a sitting room under trees, behind the bushes where we were not to go because strange men sometimes stood there with their flies undone - but not when we were there. We had an old metal biscuit tin and filled it with the things we found: a plastic Noddy attached to a broken key ring, pieces of shattered glass I told you were diamonds, grey and white bird feathers. When people asked where we came from I told them that our ancestors were Red Indians. We made jugs of lemon barley when it was hot and sold cups of it to passers by who were thirsty. When the landlord found out, he said we had to give the money to charity. I kept enough back to buy bubble gum and sherbet.

Where do we locate ourselves now if none of that happened; if we didn't exist? If we do not remember, where do the places go? They are dead as last year's papery beech leaves, soon they will be gone to nothing. If you have lost me entirely, how will you ever find your way back alone in the park under a darkening sky?

You never knew how hard I waited for you to be born.

When I first saw you I was disappointed, you looked like a bird, all mouth, and your hair was black down, a soft film of it on your head. The smell of you came into me, some strange familiar sweetness. I think you were my first child.

If this is true, then it follows that you had to leave me.

I would like to say that I gave you things: a fistful of buttercups, a doll in a polythene bag on a metal bracelet, flour and water chappati made with my own hands in the night kitchen, an angel with butterfly wings that flew by itself. I used invisible thread. You never knew.

I am drawn to people who remind me of you, or they have a smell of sister about them, but it doesn't work out, they are not kindred, under the skin.

Somebody told me always to look out for you and I never stopped. It is high time.


Cusp said...

What a lovely piece of writing and how sad. You can feel the sense of abandonment coming off the page.

I can't really empathise because I have no siblings but I can sense a feeling of bereavement and it touches my own for the people I've lost or with whom I've lost contact.

Reading the Signs said...

Thank you, Cusp x

Anna MR said...

Signs? This is simply a very beautiful, honest, emotionally true piece of writing.

Gobsmacked, I was, when I first read it. Still am.


Reading the Signs said...

Seestah (heh!) - what psychicness drew you back to this? Lovely of you to say so.

Anna MR said...

Well, by now it seems suitably deep down in your archives that I dare to lift up my real head and speak. I haven't forgotten this post since you posted it, and it was high time, too, that I said something to that effect.

I don't know why it is sometimes so very difficult to speak here in Blogoslavia. You are keenly read, though, Seestah, as one of my two BINSRs. Yes, Blogs I'll Never Stop Reading.


Reading the Signs said...

Blogger has been rubbish today - I wrote a long-ish reply and it timed me out and disappeared my words. Anyway, to summarise: this post marked a transition (a kind of bereavement, as Cusp said) and I guess I wouldn't be expressing the same things now.

And it's an honour to be a BYNSR