I shouldn’t have come here really. I had no intention of walking this far. Haven’t got a clue how I’m going to get back home before dark, either. But isn’t this picture-postcard cottage worth the long trek and so much more? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a place as quaint and welcoming as this one. The faded red brick, the white paintwork, the upper windows twinkling in the sunset. The bottom two windows seem to be hugging the front door, while those climbing flowers embrace them all.
What do they call those flowers? Not roses, obviously. I do know those. But I’ve never been very good with more complicated plant names. Aren’t they just the most gorgeous shade of lilac? And don’t they fill the whole earth with the scent of early summer and the promise of things to come?
I can’t wait.
I measure out three steps to one side of the gate, three to the other. Counting calms me down, gives me something to do. I remind myself to stand tall. I have to slow down, keep my distance, remember to breathe. I close my eyes and try to take in all the sounds, the warmth, the aroma of this perfect evening.
So what if I am not wanted here…
She had it all:
The passion for her work
Lively enquiring minds of her children
Their scrawlings on her American fridge
A husband tender and magical
A house the envy of her neighbourhood
Glowing at night with soft lights
Lazy summer days lounging in the garden
And a lump in her breast the size of a bullet.
I am still in the throes of moving and do not have Internet or phone or TV connection, nor even a desk on which to put my laptop. So this is written in less than ideal environment while having a coffee at a place with free Wifi. I just didn’t want be silent for so long. Needless to say, my current thoughts are very much taken up with packing, unpacking and cartons.
All packed up.
Out of sight
In forgettable cartons
With reductionist labels.
At first it seemed the avalanche of boxes would be
Unable to contain a life half-lived, a life half-envied,
Detritus of consumption, dresses never worn.
Then, when the flat was laid to waste,
Bereft of colour, longing, personality,
Pale in its nothingness, reduced to so little –
The rich canvas of life together now squeezed
In his and her boxes,
His and her children,
In their separate storage,
To be manipulated,
Torn bleeding apart,
But bled dry.
Those leaking boxes that overflow
And mess up the new spaces
Wherever you put them down.
Not knowing where