Friday, 31 January 2014

3/4 time

'Hey love,' he chirps. 'You're missing one - didn't you notice?'

I wheel the oft-coveted double buggy around the queue in the bank.

'Oh no, I haven't lost anyone,' I respond. 'There is usually another but he's at nursery this morning.'


'Ooooo,' the lady-in-the-lift coos. 'I was checking for twins!'

'No, no,' I say. 'No twins here. I know he is too old for a buggy really but he does tend to run off. Better safe than sorry.''


And there is pressure, a pressing. Against my skin. On atrophied tissue. Something wasted. Something that was once vital and passionate.

Bump, bump, bump. Against the shadow of a five year old bruise. Kind, well meaning chatter. Strangers bumping up against a sore spot. It aches momentarily. But is shrugged off. Because I haven't the time. And they mean well. Who would, or could, ever know?


Her earnest blue eyes search for mine. She talks and talks. She writes and explains. She shows me her sketch book, and her maths book, and her letter. I see myself as a child. I smile wryly. I sigh.

Because her mother isn't here. She's a childminder and has to work. I'm a poor substitute.

But I think that perhaps I am not completely rubbish with children?
Perhaps I am not an awful mother?
Perhaps I am not a terrible, horrible, ungrateful person?
Or maybe I am.

Who can call it?

Because I can connect with a child. Just not my own.
Not this one of the three, of the four, anyway.
But I will wait. I'm very patient.

I'm still waiting for her sister after all. And five years waiting for the dead is as nothing.

I can wait longer for the living.
I will out last you and I'll be here, waiting.
When you are ready.
To find me and for me to find you.
We will meet. Eventually.