He loves me

And I love him
Not because he tries to
Sell me rainbows,
Or sacrifices his every
Need to meet mine.
It is real,
It is raw,
And he meets me there,
Calmly reminding me
That life goes on,
That even if everything
And we show the worst
Of ourselves
We can heal, we can grow
We can love.
And he loves

Copyright Hiraeth 2021

Everyone is grieving

Everyone is grieving.
The first-year university student who
Looked forward to some independence
And two minute noodle meals
Now sits staring at a screen.
The pilot who once travelled the globe and is now grounded and scrambling to
reinvent himself at fifty.
The lecturer who teaches integration like it matters when she just lost her father.
The petrol attendant who fills your car with a smile but recently became
the head of a three-person household,
The grade four learner who acts out at school because he misses what was normal:
sport, lessons without masks, no one shouting “social distancing” at every turn.
The entrepreneur who launched her dream online shop, only to close it months later and now worries about feeding her family.
The Grade 12 learner who dreamt of wearing a crimson red dress to her dance, one she has imagined since she was 5.
The family who just lost three members at once.
Are gone.
Women and girls who may lose their right to education and dignity.
Men who would rather take their chances holding onto a plane taking off,
Than face the reality that unfolds.
Everyone is grieving,
In some way
For dreams,
For people,
For a future that looks
Very much like
A sci-fi horror movie
(With helpless babies
Passed over a barbwire fence)

Copyright Hiraeth 2021

For them

I see you,
Worn, but still going,
Tired, but still fighting
For them
Because you were chosen
To be their mom,
To be their representative
(Even though you feel
Their witness
And witness you do:
Every tear
You catch
(And sometimes shed late at night)
Every failure
You process
(And you remind them, we all fail)
Every victory
You hold
(And want to shout out on the rooftops)
I see you
And you are qualified,
A perfect representative,
Because you are here,
And you turn up

Copyright Hiraeth 2021

Take a day

Take a day
If you must
To cry
To mourn
To let the grief wash
Over you and
Then subside
The world will be as chaotic,
As it was the day before,
Everyone expecting a piece
Of you
As it was the day before.
Take a day
To say,
I am shocked you are gone and I just realised I never answered your message because life, my life was overwhelming (it always is) and I am sorry and I just want you to know, you taught me more than you will ever know.
But mostly,
You taught me to speak up,
To speak proudly,
To own my words, my darkness and my light.
So I took a day

Copyright Hiraeth 2020
For Dot

You don’t know

You don’t know
How hard it is trying to help her
Navigate life
When she knows she is,
Feels she is different.
You think you can make it easier,
Hide it, until one day she asks
Why is it so hard for me and easy for them?
You try to put it in perspective, many
Others have much worse challenges to deal with,
But in her world, hers is all that matters,
At least for now.
You don’t know
When what is easy for your child,
Makes her feel tired, overwhelmed,
When the writing that comes without thinking for your child,
Tires her already tired brain.
You don’t know
How besides arranging therapy
And support of every kind,
There is an emotional side
That is overwhelming sometimes,
Most times.

You don’t know
How hard it is trying to help him
When only one side of his brain
Processes sound as it should,
How hard it is for him to process
An instruction in the noise of a
Fast-paced world,
How what it is easy for your child to
Most times is overwhelming
And so he sharpens his pencil
Incessantly, bites his nails
Or washes his hands
To control what he can
And mask his
Why am I different?
Why is it so hard?
You don’t know
And until you do

Copyright Hiraeth 2020

Just so you know (3rd June)

Just so you know
The longing never ends
It weaves through the
Myriad of experiences,
Pieces that are your life
It echos in the quiet moments,
Every year the 3rd of
You were here,
Left at noon.
Just so you know
The memories never end
They dance through my
Heart, a playful tune,
You were here,
Gone at noon.
Just so you know
Your memory is
Captured in every
Cell of my imperfect
Sullen soul,
And you bring me light
As I grow old.


Suddenly the world
Became silent,
You were trying
To find the silence
All as it was
Came to a grinding
While you were trying
To bring yourself to
And with it came
A reprise,
A renewal,
A quiet realisation,
You are not in control
Of anything
But your inner self
And her health.
So you paint,
You play piano
You dance to the
Rhythm of her

Copyright Hiraeth 2020

When hope emigrated

I knew you
Before he was gone
Before every cell ached for
To be here, near
Before grief found a hold
On your heart
And life and filtered
Through your soul.
And on the days
You struggle,
The days where Facebook
Surprises you with a photo
A memory of just
You two
And hope seems
Like a friend who
Has emigrated
To the furthest corner of
Without warning or
A farewell,
I will remind you
Who you were
And integrated in the loss
You will now be

Copyright Hiraeth 2019