Faithfully I follow you up the trailing mountain track.
Trundling over rocks, you carry our fresh picnic lunch
Green salad, camembert and blush-pink wine.
Golden spring wattle taps your shoulders,
Anointing you with its sweet-scented blessings,
While I lug my barbed guilt, heavy and hurting
Breathe it in, breathe it out.
Hurry up, you call, not knowing yet the secret I keep
And you, gentle man,
Hold back a straggling branch for me to freely pass
But you let it go too soon, accidently, of course and
Runaway bough slaps my face which is, after all,
What I deserve for this closet I conceal.
You don’t notice the red welt that streaks my cheek
We are not mountaineers, you and I,
But our climb has been steep
Without warning I stumble and trip on loose stones.
Oh, my angel, you have fallen, you say.
I am fallen, I say
The crack in the wall
was getting wider
worried me a lot
from floor to corner of the ceiling
like a zig zag trace
of a lightning bolt
I used to muse
how much worse it would get
but in the end
it got so wide that
on a fine day
you could see
the cloud creased sky
and on a dark night
the silent stars
That was when
I told you about it
you rang one day one day
without warning after so many years
there is a crack I said.
I can come and help you with that you said
But I didn’t ask you over
I ignored your offer of help
and only a year later - natural causes
you were old after all,
but you knew about cracks
oh yes you knew about cracks
The builder said it was
because of the drought
and that when the drought was over
the crack in the wall would close
just as if it had never been there
never been there at all
He was right, - well almost
the drought is over now
the brick hard clay soil softened
moist malleable compliant
the crack in the wall has closed over
well nearly - but not quite.
Still the faintest trace
from floor to the corner of the ceiling
a jagged shadow of a hairline fracture
fine broken eggshell fissure
now that the drought is over.
Today I missed you. I missed you yesterday too, but today I missed you more. I’m not sure why. Maybe it was because it was raining. Early this morning the sun was shining but then it clouded over and started to drizzle. The soft misty rain continued for most of the day. It stopped for a short time around mid-day, so I went to sit in the garden under the autumn tree and ate my cheese sandwich. But just as I finished eating it started to rain softly, and softly rain so I went back inside and stared out the window for a while. I listened to my new Nick Cave CD. I played it three times and then I decided to take my dog for a walk. The air outside smelled fresh and the rain on my face mixed with tears of missing you. Some days I miss you more than others – it’s hard to know why that is really. Missing you is a hard thing to quantify. I guess it’s just that some days ache more than others. Later, when I came back from my walk I played Nick Cave again. The phone rang once and for some reason I thought it might be you, but of course it wasn’t. It was still raining softly and softly raining at tea time, but it didn’t matter because I wasn’t going out anywhere. I decided to skip dinner and sat down and watched the news and the weather report. Apparently it will be raining again tomorrow and the next day and the day after that.
Today I missed you and I will miss you tomorrow and all the days after that and all the days after that.