Monthly Archives: September 2012

Conversation With Ken

August 23rd was the anniversary of my son’s death. I wrote the following poem 6 months after he died. I wanted to post it on the anniversary but for various reasons was unable to.

Conversation With Ken

Is it just in my mind that you are near
Why do I experience this strange absence of fear
Did I fear for you in your suffering state
Or myself in my inability to hold back fate
I was powerless then I’m powerless now
Wanting to conjure up your presence not knowing how
Not yet ready to say goodbye needing still to hold on
How can I live in this world if I accept you have gone
I sit and watch the ocean just outside the door
Mesmerised by waves crashing onto the shore
I see joy in a wagtail dancing on the balcony
As I ache with the emptiness of what can never be
Always struggling to accept things I don’t understand
Longing to feel you once more holding my hand
To see you squatting before me offering comfort and care
But I can’t see you or touch you because you’re no longer there
For nine months I carried you inside my womb
Felt you rolling and kicking inside your cocoon
The pain I experienced as I laboured to birth
Just a pinprick in comparison with your leaving this earth
Children bury their parents – this is nature’s way
Yet it is you who have gone and I who must stay
Your death is a question no answer can I find
I strive to reconstruct the shattered fragments of my mind
I watched the sunrise this morning wished you were watching too
Felt a momentary peace – a peace life denied you
I’m tired time to rest I’ll commune again soon
For I now carry you in my heart as I once carried you in my womb

Tricia 2/2000

Words and Wounds

Words and Wounds

Words are my constant companions
My friends and confidants
There are days I loathe the words
Brave, courageous, determined
Not all days
Just the really difficult days
Stoic is a stand out on the loathe list
A tiny pebble
Hiding in my shoe
Rolling and rubbing
Until eventually
The skin blisters and breaks
Then there’s the word
I want to write this blight in large black letters
On a huge white sheet of paper
Cut out each letter
Tear the letters into tiny pieces
Put them into a rusty old jam tin
And set fire to them
When the black ash of closure has cooled
I want to take the tin to the top of a mountain
Shake out the ash
Allowing the winds to swirl and dissipate
This monstrous mantra forevermore
Because with death
There is no closure
We can relearn our lives
In the wake of absence
Savour our memories
Even learn to laugh again
But the illusion of closure
Is a pain inducing panacea
An exhausting trek along a road to nowhere
Forty years ago today
My son was born
Thirteen years ago he died
Most days I live in peace
With his absent presence
But today the pain is as raw
As the day we discovered his body
I know from experience
Tomorrow will be a better day
Today will be a mixture of longing and laughter
Crumpling and climbing up again
As the kaleidoscope of memory rotates
There will be no closure
And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Tricia 18/9/2012

Voice in the Night

Voice in the Night

In the early hours
Just across the corridor
An elderly woman
Begins her death journey

“Let me go, let me go”
She cries

I’ve no idea with whom
She is pleading
It could be the nurses
Who are caring for her

It could be death
It could be life
Is her cry for death to let her be
Or for life to relinquish her

Tricia 8/2012