March 15th 1962

She wanted her children before she was 30, managed it with a week to spare

Without that day

She wouldn’t have said “you ‘av ‘eavy ‘ead”

He’d have had no one to pin down

She wouldn’t have said get stuck in on Sunday lunches

The cowboy suit would not have been bought

The long hospital trips not needed

No Butlitz compare laughing at your line

He’d have biked the forest alone

And she’d have to lie to someone else

And they wouldn’t have been amazed at how you caught up

And she wouldn’t have bought daily chicken legs

And he wouldn’t have driven up and down till he found you

And he wouldn’t have caught up with you after all those years

And she wouldn’t have been challenged to know it wasn’t right

And he wouldn’t have been held when he came home from ships

And she’d have played games with someone else

And they wouldn’t have had the back up they needed

And they wouldn’t have had the steely decisions

And their choices would not have been clear

And she’d not have put the world to rights

And she wouldn’t have remembered and smiled

And his issues would have been different

And she wouldn’t have got the egg

And she wouldn’t have sat up talking all night

And she’d wouldn’t have had the momentum

And she wouldn’t have dealt with debate

And she wouldn’t have made the journey

And she wouldn’t have stood at the top, though the snow hurt her eyes

And she wouldn’t have found the Bronx choir

And she wouldn’t have felt the fluttering in the Millenium Dome

And there were no more breaks

And he wouldn’t have been held in the first half hour

And they wouldn’t have made a nest on their lounge floor

And he wouldn’t have your steely eyes

And he wouldn’t have the knowledge

And he wouldn’t have the genes

And he wouldn’t have the thread that connects

And he wouldn’t be

And I wouldn’t have made the changes

And I wouldn’t have grown in this way

And I wouldn’t have took on the challenge

And I wouldn’t have clung onto the spark

And I wouldn’t have learned what was there

And I wouldn’t have uncovered cycles

And I wouldn’t have carved out a strength

And I wouldn’t have shown who I am

And I couldn’t have taken her ring

And I couldn’t have taken his ring

And he wouldn’t have been dreaming little lad dreams beside me

And I wouldn’t have this day ahead of me

I wouldn’t have had us

I wouldn’t have had him

I wouldn’t have had me

I wouldn’t have this motherhood

He wouldn’t be who he is

I wouldn’t be who I am

We wouldn’t have this voyage

We wouldn’t be

We wouldn’t have this life

We have this life

March 15th 2012

Adrift

Not real, not here, writing from nowhere.

Can’t make sense of it, don’t want to see anyone, the dogs give me no lift today. Need to leave the path I think, go behind, back to the dark and scary woods that we negotiated with our toddler.

It’s too open out there, too revealing.

Free and empty but not for me today, have to find me in the brambles. Wings sneak out, cut through cloud. I need my mast to climb high, can’t see if there’s land ahead. Should I spear the bird, feed them all or keep heading out?

Let’s see what happens, it’s too early out here. I feel ill today, heavy, puffy, weighted down. I ignore the struggling saplings, they have little point this morning.

I find a cut through under barbed wire.

And beyond it white grey void, it’s appealing but I’m not brave enough.

Not ready to come out into the open, keep drifting to find somewhere new.

Out there the day is trying to find itself, telegraph poles creep towards me, adrift galleons to steer around.

The crew has gone, my compass is rusty, the glass scratched, eaten away by the salt. Tap it and hope for the best.

It’s too quiet but not quiet enough.

There’s a temptation to stroke my hand firmly across the barbs as I wander past, like a ten year old stick-banging against railings, but I resist the need for a different pain and keep it deep in pocket.

And now I’m out, don’t know where?

It’s all changed from when we used to walk with our son to the trains.

I really don’t know which way to go.

Where is this? Lined up in a drip of old trees, ancient and clawed into the earth. Creatures smirking and hiding behind them. I take the fragile tissue paper from the twig, study its veins of direction. They all think they’re invisible but I know they’re there,

hiding, like me, not doing a good job.

They’re my sea creatures, waiting to tip the boat, the roots unsteady me. I find a harbour by the fenced off field. The sky hangs upside down in the weight of the water droplet, gravity taking them down from the berry, the new fruit shining over wrinkled age. Moss creeping, coating bark while I stop to study the burned out shack, some structure remaining, though its purpose changed.

It’s struts are in place, the wood underneath, the angles sharp and clear. But the surface gone, stripped, devowered. With care and attention it could do it’s job differently, new and renewed. Changed but still having a point.

I’m not ready for the mist to lift,

but turn for the shore before daybreak.

I scuff my hand on the slimy limed creatures, they’re not as fierce as they look. I can tame them if I choose and head back to familiar waters.

And now I don’t mind the openness, the nobodys coming out of the mist.

I can’t tell how far down I am.

I tap the screen, wait for the arrow to settle, to find north.

The day hangs around my neck

fluorescence near the shoreline

I stumble from the wreck to wander with my story.

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