Gash

There’s a wide doorway
to the knife’s kernel
where my 3 year old self sits
in rigid terror
between us, we know every access code.

…………………………………………………………………………………………

It was a freezing cold hangover day as the train swayed across blankets of iced rain towards a boat and a small island huddling in the middle of the Irish Sea. Every time we made this trip, for me it was the descent into some kind of an isolated Hades, and for you it was a homecoming. Your family thought of me as” trouble” or maybe it was because I had the habit of
…………………“saying how I saw it” ……………..

…………and damn the consequences. But mostly it was because you were so good at playing the soft spoken giant and I was so angry it fell in beads of sweat from my skin. You had the finest lines in put down and I bought into them like an autumn sale, filling my empty bags to the brim then searching for more. Your family were “comeovers” and your mother like a mythical Queen lived on her bleak country estate looking over the sea. I didn’t stand much of a chance, did I? She took one look at me and fled to California to go into analysis with a cracked Malibu Jungian whose claim to fame was treating Julie Andrews. Leaving us perched in your childhood hideout with dusty velvet curtains and rats scuttling across kitchen boards. It was fine till I got pregnant: and after the wedding and after more rain there we were looking over the sea alone with our mysteries and neither of us much idea. You have your story too, and if I could tell it I would, after all this time, if I could throw it up in a ball and watch the stars fall in our hair, if there was any way I could take back those days and make them shine, where the sea meets the sky, fishing boats ,curlews, fields of heather, the feeling of being in someone else’s dream and fighting to breathe, but that’s my trick making everything so much more complicated than it really is, I realise now you wanted something eternal, simple, had dreamed of building a house with animals and children and all I could see was the bleak demeanour of the relentless sea, no Hong Kong with its Aberdeen harbour of floating restaurants but long hours, hard work, small children, and me in a fury at you, not knowing who I was supposed to be.

………………………………………………………………………………………….

It’s taken me half a lifetime
to learn the tricks,
but now at least
I can watch myself peeling

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