Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Friday, 2 August 2013


It is nearly five years now since Georgina died.

Like a slow tide, the grief that once turned me outwards now drives me inward.
Towards silence.

Jessica progresses. Sometimes slow. But steady.

"What did you say my darling? Try again?"
She repeats herself.
I fail to comprehend.
She sighs wearily.

We both stare out of the window or at one another in the rear view mirror, communication impasse locking us in place.
Toilet training grinds onwards into the middle distance.
Her kind eyes, her patient hands.
We will try again.

Reuben grows.
He issues orders, my tiny emperor.
Mildly unbelievable boy.
The unlikely child who did not die, who was not ill.
He looks like me, grey eyes, prominent ears.

Of the first (third) child, little mention is made.
The silver disc around my neck with her name engraved dangles, tarnished.
My naive expectations of kindness and comfort set aside, both for others and for myself.

Another baby kicks inside me. Just one. A girl or so they tell me.
Already bigger, already older than one of her sisters will ever be.

I imagine the flickering fused eyelid, the thin hand.
But not for too long as I cannot bear to.
I talk of her as though she will be born on her due date and live.
I do not claim her as the fourth child.

I stay quiet.
On the whole.