Monday, 20 February 2012

Two Steps Behind


TWO STEPS BEHIND.

Frosty air grates my cheeks as I follow your footsteps. You don’t see me, I’m too far behind. Your black shoes slip slightly against the heel of your stocking covered foot. The pleats on your skirt billow with the light air, swirling pools of colour. Your pace quickens and I struggle to keep my eye on you as shoppers jostle past. You raise a leather encased hand to lift hair from your eyes, hitch your handbag back into position on your shoulder. You almost see me as you push open the door to the supermarket. Then, as the heavy door closes behind you, you are gone. Tears slide across my cheeks, pain marking their descent.
Sunlight licks my skin as I push my sunglasses on. Magnificent stone rises into the cloudless, aqua-marine sky. Tall shadows loom underfoot. Your laugh tinkles and weaves readily around my heart. Feet of air carry me behind you, between the ruins of monarchs passed. Your hair swings with the bounce in your step, you point out a view across distant fields through a glass-less window. I pause to enjoy the splendour, to soak in what brings the joy to your voice. You are far ahead, your footsteps resonate above as I place a first foot upon the stone step. Breathlessly I reach the top but you are not there.
My arm weighs heavy with the shopping bags hung over it. The first drops of rain begin to fall, splattering on my face. You point at a café and rush towards it and I follow. You’re already in the queue when I carry a tray to the selection of cakes. You point at a chocolate muffin and I choose the same. I tell you to find a seat while I order the coffee. I pay and scan the room for you. The table you were at is empty.
My eyes are raw and my head pounds as I lay it on the pillow. Sleep takes a long time to find me, until exhausted I fall into a slumber. Then I see you, I reach out a hand and tap you on the shoulder and for the first time in what feels like an eternity, I see your face.

***
Written in memory of my wonderful mum, who lost her life to cancer at the tender age of just 48, and of this day which marks the second year without her. 

9 comments:

  1. So sad, Gina. You must be very raw still. Expect you will play the 'video' in your mind today of what happened, but we have to keep thinking about them - it's only right. Of course it does get less raw eventually (I know this), but treasured memories won't ever be lost. Thinking of you, and guessing how proud she would be about your book publication. Rarely was "take care" so apt.

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  2. Thank you, Jacqueline, for your kind words and thoughts. Previously I've blogged a photo post and poems in memory, so I opted for something a little different this time.

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  3. Gina, I am so sorry for your loss, still very recent and it must be very hard on days like today. The story is lovely to read but means even more when you read the dedication.

    Thinking of you.

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  4. Beautiful memory piece. Sorry for your loss and sadness.

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  5. Thank you, Rebecca, for your kind thoughts and words.

    Glynis, thank you for your lovely comment.

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  6. Hi Gina .. so so young - but full of life as her photos show ... and full of love - remembered here as you weep into your pillow of memories ... my thoughts - now three years on ... Hilary

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    1. Thanks, Hilary. Yes, lots of memories!

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  7. Another beautiful tribute - I'm sure she was as proud of you, as you of her. The consolation is that she lives on in you and you will keep her memory bright. x

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    1. Thanks, Tara, for your lovely comments and words. x

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