Her image hits me a terrific blow
that shocks me four years on,
the force of her absent presence.
Her spirit when she schooled in Donegal,
the closeness of our walks along Portmarnock,
ferocious at eight, bags packed, leaving home.
The intensity of how are you Dad,
the after glow of hello-goodbye hugs
She appears most days,
in my thoughts and dreams, my imaginings
usually fine - sometimes a jolt
Fixed in age never changing
would be thirty-two - still twenty six
going on twenty-seven
A part disbelieves she was ever here,
out there - not returning - out there - never gone.
my heart collapses, I reach breaking point
Throat catches, chest heaves, eyes ache,
stopped in my tracks again -
a permanently disabling condition
She continues to appear – to fill my mind,
then goes off leaving behind a dull ache,
though sometimes a full blown blast
of news that’s seven years old.
I sit in a small Mediterranean garden
her doing as it turns out, bought and occupied
to relieve the pain and emptiness –
continuing somehow to get on with it.
A barren lemon tree reaches high
while its more recent sister shows five fruit
on tiny stems. Oleanders blossom rich pink,
hibiscus show their radiant rich red and
peach flowers on thinning branches.
A vicious cactus defies murderous cuts
and damages all who come within feet of it,
hacked hedging fails to register its need for control.
Time to leave the flowered haven for the wilds of beach.
It is the first time to be away from home,
not to be near those who may or may not know,
So a new venture here, a consequence of her.
She continues to appear – to fill my mind . . . .
Sometimes we talk together
most often each one thinks apart
of her gone twelve years
a casualty of modern living
Her hennaed hair shoulder blade length
long strong dancers back
Sparkling eyes - a sometimes sharpened glare
the quick retort - the ever brightened brain
There was a rush of life about her
that stirred a storm on entry
or when a drive to new adventure
was thrust up in our faces
Of course there were parts of her
we never knew and had to wait till after
when friends would come and reminisce
would reveal both divilment and depth
Remembrances come as surprise
kicked off by unsuspecting trips
stop our breath - bring us to a halt
the stab as sharp as ever
Pain softens now sooner than before
allows another memory to surface
an ever fondness twinned with hurt
enables the moving on with life