Monday, January 21, 2019

John


“Time is a great healer.”
Except that it isn’t.
And all the other hushed platitudes,
Probably meant well,
Are also pointless lies.
Because, nineteen years on,
The pain is crushing and unbearable.

You should be opening birthday presents.
You should be going out tonight,
To celebrate with friends.
Who would they have been?
But there are no balloons,
Nor banners,
Nor nineteen candles on a birthday cake.

There is nothing.
Silence.
I hear my own heart beating
And remember when yours stopped.
Born too soon.
Gone too soon.
Never forgotten.

So little time with you,
And your delicate skin,
And doll-like frame.
Charlie looks like you.
And your sleeping position was the same as mine.
You are still here.
In us.

This is no celebration.
It’s Hell.
It’s the eternal wondering
Of what could have,
Should have been,
But never was.
So many missed birthdays now.

I never took you home.
I never pushed you in a pram.
We never fed the ducks in Graves Park.
I never heard you laugh,
Or cry.
I only heard the silence,
Which still suffocates me.

I never took you to school,
And cut crusts off lunchbox sandwiches.
I didn’t meet teenage you.
You never met your siblings.
I went to your funeral,
And I think I might have been brave,
Though that has become a blur.

January comes and goes,
Each time leaving another scar.
I am covered now,
My heart slashed repeatedly.
Tears splashing down my face
As I remember you,
For the short time I was your mum.




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