Monday, May 22, 2006


I tried to speak in your tongue but

My mother tongue is Maeve Binchy novels and ginger fluff sponge, early morning dreamings on the back step, porcelain owls and zygo cacti

My father tongue is quartz and sandstone, toy planes fashioned from beer cans and a Stanley knife, framed photos of black and white beaches

I hear your words and I want them, desperately, but when I try to catch them and pop them in my mouth they splinter and I bleed

So it must be best to leave them in the air

Drifting past my closed lips

Your words are a tapestry; precise and intricate on the surface but turn it over and you can see the garbled mess of knots and listless strands of surplus thread…
So you frame it and nail it to the wall above the striped couch and that’s that- the Symbolic hides the semiotic.

Which should be comforting but it’s not

The semiotic is where my nan has retreated since that imp named Alzheimer’s perched on her shoulders, supping on her memories with a silver spoon. It is the ‘how tos’ and the ‘what fors’ he has crunched and slurped with particular relish- he is saving the precious faces, loving voices and faded wedding photos for last

I hope

some days that he will keep jabbing with his spoon for the chink of useless phone numbers and the clink of scone recipes (as though hunting for glinting pence in the Christmas pudding)

other days I pray that he will hurry up and finish his meal so that she can finally lose herself and return to the (M)other where it is warm and safe

these words were not supposed to arrive here

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