loss

#Fridayflash Three Objects

On every birthday she took out the box, high in the cupboard, behind her suitcase, behind the clothes of other season. In the box there was a photograph, the sliver of hair, the first suit that only fit him for a week. She took out the photograph and placed it face down on the bed. She took out the hair and felt the curl of it round her finger and saw the colour of it. It was nothing like her own. It was dark, a jet black oil smudge. She took out the suit and watched it retreating every year, it fit in her hand, she crushed it. She did not put it to her face. It no longer had the smell of him.

She placed the three objects side by side: The face down photograph, the lock of hair, back in it’s envelope, the baby suit, flattened out. She felt the place where she sat on the bed sink down and give way. She waited until her breath was steady, until the rhythm of heart repaired. Then she put the photograph back in the box, to the side the lock of hair in the envelope which made a faint sound as she laid it down, then on top the suit, fit into the box in the shape of a child. She patted the fabric down. Then she closed the lid of the box, reached up and put it back into the cupboard, behind the clothes from before, behind her suitcase and all it’s possibilities.

If we thought that love was gone

by Alison Wells (1991)

i

If we thought that love was gone

that out of sweetness none remained

why should we catch the balmy air

its warm and laden music strained

upon a wise and falling light

the evening coming home to rest

the wide relentless sky still bright

like a heart stretched taut with care

then shall we find brim-comfort there

that what is now, not past is best

the full and glowing day now done.

ii

Why should we catch the balmy air

with glee and toss it through our hair

shout and stomp and shout again

that all we want to be is here?

And yet we grip rich beauty tight

must keep this fleeting joy so rare

within our touch, our taste, our sight

but scent and sound they drag us back

to scenes of sweet and haunting pain

and put us face to face with fear

that what is gone will ever lack

iii

Shout and stomp and shout again

that what despairs cannot be heard

Feel the sun – a love’s embrace

the breeze becomes a tender word

that soothes the soul, the heart and mind

and summer’s wealth of promise stored

makes the falling evening kind

and musings touched with warmth erase

the tracks where restless hopes keep pace

Then loss and aching quiet ignored

both strength and beauty now remain.

This poem appears in the Poetry Against Cancer book. Poetry Against Cancer is a collection of poetry from writers around the world; all the money raised from the book goes to St John’s Ward at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, the Haemotology and Oncology ward.

You can BUY IT HERE.