Words for my mother

you like to tell me

that whenever I’m

away, Foreigners’

“waiting for a girl like you”

somehow seems to

find its way onto your

car speakers. Little

do you know that being

away from you makes

every 80’s power ballad

we’ve sung together

play on repeat, in the

quiet parts of my

heart that haven’t yet

learned how to be without

you. There is no noise

quite like the silences

where your voice should

be in the retelling of every

story; no pain quite like the

knowledge that it has to wait

til the next morning to

reach your ears. There are

no words for

the ache

when no one else’s hugs will do,

no words for the

four month wait that sits

between each chance for them.


They say that this life we lead,

of loves and homes across oceans

and continents, means that we

will never truly be home again.


I don’t think that’s true. I carry

home with me every day, in a

heart that you grew and that

swells each day with the marvel

that is this life you have helped

me create, in this life that you

sometimes have to love from afar.

But I am always, always loving you:

from the next room, from London;

through fear and through joy.

As with all things, you taught me

how, and I cannot help but revel

each morning at this world: at the

person I have become that you

taught me to love, even when it

is difficult, to be my own best

friend first. This, I find difficult,

because you were my very first

best friend, and have never

once stopped being the only

person I will always turn to.

What a gift it is, that somehow,

somewhere, I was given you,

and you were given me.


How incredible that people

who have never met you

already call you Queen

Irene, because even in the

stories that I tell on a loop,

your love, kindness and

infinite optimism radiates,

and I am so blessed to

have been raised by a woman

as much like the sun as

she is human, a woman

somehow containing just

a little bit more stardust

than the rest of us. Your

kisses have forever stained

my cheeks with the cosmic blush

of the universe, and in every

step I ever take I am blessed

that I carry you with me,

to each end of this world and

back, always taking my steps

because you taught me how.


ps. A small edit, as I forgot to write it explicitly — happy birthday to my darling mother, my very best friend. I love you always.

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And when was the last time

That you revelled

Truly revelled

In the infinite possibility

Of this life.

Because I’ve started doing it

Every day

And from a night that I

Thought never ending

The sun has shown her

Face over a horizon once

Frozen solid, and ever so

quietly said:

“Welcome home;

I’ve waited for so long.”

nearly two years

there are silent storms,

vast and engulfing, but

please, pretend you don’t

see them. thunder rumbles,

silent as sin and lightning

cracks just as invisibly as

you wish it could, how can

you shut your eyes to the

veritable collapse of these

castles; walls crumble and

the grounds shake but you

stand still, still, remarkably

still, how can I fall when you

are yet to even notice the

rotation of this earth, how can

I move the mountains for you?

How can I be so desperately

concerned while you are so

desperately indifferent, have you

forgotten that this is the end,

have you forgotten that we will

never again be this way, this is

an extinction, the end of the

planet and an era, how can you

fathom the depths of this ocean

when I can’t even sail it on a boat.

This could be the end of forever,

let me know if you

want to change that, I need

you to want to change that, because

I have never tired of you. I have

spent years by your side and have

never learnt to put up a guard, I

would never wish sadness upon

you my dear but please let me

know, let me know that this is

hard for you too, so I can sleep

tonight and every night that we

spend apart, do not leave me to

fight this alone.

I will never

begrudge you, these last six months

where we both knew we were

slow dancing in a burning room,

waiting for the walls to collapse,

there is no moment of this love that

I would regret, I mean how could

I resent a love that was like breathing,

that was like two years of the moment

where you get into bed after a long,

long day, and there is no atom that

could ever want to be

anywhere else.

Perhaps the most disturbing part

of it all, is how suddenly memory

foam turns to concrete, and how

desperately you want those silk

sheets to stop feeling like you’re

lying in tin foil, were you deluding

yourself? No, not at all,

it is remarkable what the human

mind can do when it wants

something to work so badly,

when the overwhelming fear of

failure that you never knew you

had kicks in and all of a sudden

two years have passed.

It is almost shocking, looking

at pictures of you with your head

that some other girl shaved, to think

that I really knew I would marry you

one day, to have laid the stones on

the path to forever, to have almost

set my dreams aside to make space

for yours, to have given up Paris,

New York, New Orleans, for the

little town that existed only in your

mind and your childhood, too small

for a girl who stands 5’10” in stature

and infinite in possibilities.

how you can make me feel these

tidal waves of guilt, for the one

night of rough seas you were made

to endure, please take my apology.

I was supposed to be a lagoon for

you, blue in all my perfection, a

harbour to moor and heal, shelter.

You forget I have storms of my own,

too.

hearts don’t break around here

how much further away can one person feel?
surely there’s a number of miles that fit the

maximum, but here I am sat in London

town realizing that distance is no longer

the increments between a person and

another or a place but that it is the times

that they’ve said goodbye to people they

love,

over and over again,

 

tell me how many times

you’ve had to say goodbye

to the person that

only you

have ever protected?

 

Never?

 

How lucky you are.

fight

and so it begins

so many different kinds of days

what it is like to

fight with with the perfect person

to wait and see

just how the days turn out when

you just can’t

ask for anything more. One day

you’ll ask me,

why did you stick around, when

some days, it

felt like each was just harder than the

next. Maybe

it has always been because even

after each time

that I’ve seen you, from that first

day in that first kitchen,

to every day in a kitchen mine or

yours, that even in

my night sky, watching each twinkle

and the gaps between,

all the spaces sing your name, in the

silence and the noise.

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And I don’t think I’ll ever be the same

after watching the sun rise over the horizon

of your cheekbone, how could I watch

the night fall over that face

and expect the stars to remain familiar.

Words that were written one year ago,

and I still so vividly remember

falling in love with you, and maybe I

remember it so well because

I do it over and over again, with every

sunrise and every dusk, even

in this winter when the night comes so

soon and you know I cant’t

stay awake in the dark, so thank you for

never letting me sleep alone.