Wednesday, September 28, 2011

On grief after the passage of time

I think I see her. out of the corner of my eye
or from the side, her face turned away
an acute angle of vision.

Often, at the shops, it happens. coming and going
from the fruiterer we used to share, meeting
with wry smiles among the sweet smells of kiwi fruit and mango
both of us marshalling multiple small people away from destruction

and she would say: Why do they leave the grapes just where little kids can get them?
and laugh
And I'd say: Ty before you buy...
and we'd stop for coffee
the kids sipping milkshakes and eating sugared donuts

sometimes I expect to see her there still. sometimes
I think I do.
a face
half-caught in the sunlight
with a look of her. a woman
walking with a stick, limping
as she did, before
she could not.

I am always surprised
how much it hurts
when my mind catches up to the error
and reminds me
that I will never see her again.

that she is gone from the earth. gone
into whatever lies beyond,
if anything.

it doesn't seem any more possible
even now,
even now.

there is no justice in this. there never was
death does not play fair.
or fate, or random blind luck, or what-have-you
that which decrees
that this one will live to dotage, and that one, oh,
consign her body to the flames
before she's 40.

knowing this
understanding this
does not make me miss her less.

- Kathy, 28/9/11


  1. It's true - sometimes it's as simple as the flick of someone's ponytail or a silhouette in the distance which sends such a jolt of recognition right through me that, just for a moment, I'm sure it's my sister I'm seeing. The sensation is so intense I can feel myself catch my breath. I'm sure it happens more often around her anniversary time (three years this Monday) and I guess has been on my mind with the finalisation of a court case a couple of weeks ago. It's mysterious - the different ways of remembering.

  2. I still catch glimpses of my Mum and it makes me cry every single time. Like now.