October’s Spell

It started in October.
Everything you did, said, implied,
Engraved on your face,
Got under my skin, my nails;
Your laid-back attitude,
That kept me calm, centered
Now aroused anger,
It went from complacency to
Laziness in my head
As the days passed.
By the middle of the month
I imagined myself booting you off
That damn Coricraft corner unit
With the two sets of removable covers
On which your outline had an imprint
And very soon,
On that same couch, with the olive
Set on, sitting side by side,
I said, “I am done.”
And your face revealed
You were done too.
And now when I read the news,
See how many celebrity couples
Are done
In October;
I think to myself
If only they held on for two
More months,
In January,
Things will be different,
(and that forsaken couch
will be clean)
Things always look more hopeful;
Just
get
through
October.

Copyright Hiraeth 2016

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No translation

We speak different love languages
Mine is words,
His is affection
And despite his best attempts
And my enthusiastic moaning
And even a few counselling sessions;
Seven years in, we are no closer
To speaking the same tongue
And I have realised, it is fine
We are fine.
I will always be the one who writes
Lyrically about our love,
Capture the challenges in prose
Write essays in anniversary cards.
He will always be the one who
Shows love, who holds me every night
In a gorilla grip,
Who is practical, even when it comes to
Matters of the heart,
His cards an eloquent
I love you and the gift something
Purposeful.
And I will admit,
That I have learnt his language
Become accustomed to it,
And in the dead of night
In his arms
I believe
Everything will be alright.

copyright Hiraeth 2016

I remember you

To the woman
Who lost a son
One of two
I remember the day
I remember you
I remember the ambulance men
Taking him away
From the NICU,
Carefully clearing his incubator,
The nurses cleaning it for the
Next arrival.
He was the strongest of the two,
But suddenly it changed,
As we were warned it could
And often did
(In a very clinical approach,
as if this were a laboratory experiment)
I returned to my room
And sat on the floor
And wept and prayed
That my son would
Make it.
I prayed for you, that your
Heart would be held
By Him.
I phoned my Dad and
Wept like a four year old,
I can’t lose him,
I love him so much already
He is so small
His entire body wrapped
In tubes, wires.
I remember your first visit
The next day
You were there for you remaining
Son, brave but broken,
Cloaked in loss.
I remember.
And even now, when I watch
My blue eyes run and pounce
On every moment of life,
I think of you
And how blessed I am to have him,
how he had to fight to be here.
And sometimes I wonder
If women who have problem-free
Pregnancies, realise how much
Could go wrong,
If teachers and therapists who
Work with these little ones
Realise how lucky we are to have them,
How much they have been through,
If partners realise that the mothers
Are forever scarred by the experience,
That there is always this doubt,
That you did something wrong,
That you were unable to carry them
To full term.
So on this Women’s day
I remember you,
I remember
your sons.

Copyright Hiraeth 2016

Stolen words

My diary.
Of all the things you took
My money, my trust, my confidence
This is what stung most:
That you felt you had a right,
That you were entitled
To parts never exposed to anyone
(the darkness unforeseen, unexpected, unresolved)
And that was not enough;
Then you stole my poetry
And used it to serenade the next
Soul mate, the next chapter,
The next forever-after-lie;
And the words dried up,
I had no words
No rhyme.
And then one day I watched
The sun set itself to sleep
And the waves caressing the sand
In a waltz with the wind.
And I knew:
That there were more words,
That there was more poetry,
more rhyme,
That would never
be
yours.

Copyright Hiraeth 2016

If you knew

If you knew how hard it is
Trying to keep a marriage intact
In this day and age
And raise a family,
Despite the overwhelming
Pace of life,
Despite the exhaustive have-to-do,
Have-to-be demands,
You would grant him a chance
To find what you searched for
But still have not found,
You would offer your support,
Ask what role you can play
To add to our family,
Instead of the one you defined
For yourself
Long before there was us.
You would put your selfish ways
Aside and have the wisdom to see:
We are trying our best,
Just
let
us
be.

Copyright Hiraeth 2016

Words

A wedding speech. You toasted the bride and groom. Everyone was left speechless, you spoke with such clarity, intertwining the personalties of the two, humorous anecdotes and a touch of wisdom at the end. While everyone listened intently, with every word something in me gasped for air. One of the guests even came up to me and said that she did not realise that you are a very deep person.
I parallel it with your wedding speech. A long list of thank you’s and a quick I love you at the end. Full stop. Nothing more.
So that night I realised, you always had the words,
You just didn’t have them
For me.

Copyright Hiraeth 2016

The Cross

When I visited Austria a few years ago I bought a cross at one of the most beautiful gothic churches I visited (there were many – I was searching). It resonated with my soul, the garish art captured the storms raging inside my heart. I identified with lost souls from generations ago. I spent a few hours there contemplating and praying about my life. It was quite a mess at that stage, I was lost in a story I wanted to rewrite. There was too much drama and pain. I left that church with a sense of complete peace that God had a plan for my life, that if I just kept walking it would unfold as it was meant to be. That cross became more than a souvenir to me. I wore it the day I stood in the court for the end of my marriage, the day I had to testify for a restraining order against a bad decision and the day I said goodbye to the closest I had to a sister in this life. I wore it whenever life tilted towards the overwhelming and on any of the numerous anniversaries of loss. Earlier this year I wore it on the tenth anniversary of my wedding day and when I wanted to take it off at night, I realised I was wearing only the chain. The cross was gone. For a few days I was very sad, I even contemplated asking a friend in Austria to post another one. But I realised that there was a lesson in there, particularly for someone who is so sentimental and collects memories in things. (I have love letters from when I was eight, my school books from Grade 1.) The memories are not there, nor the love, nor the strength to continue. It was as if God was saying, lay it down, let it go.

It is done.
And for the first time
It was.

copyright Hiraeth 2016