Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Day 101

Room 101

A bit like room 101, I have faced the worst of myself today to write this. It had to be done and it is honest as it can be seeing as I am a vain fool.

It's about the last few days before we left my dying grandmother to head west to Canada. It's not cheery, I'll promise you that!

Room 101

The betrayal smelled like
the boiled cabbage in that
crusty-cornered room. For the
first time in weeks as lucid as
lime she smiled her love through
dentured jaws. And I thought
there and then - if she could
she would return, such was the strength
of that love.

The boys, blond as the
sun, bursting with the promise
of this new life scrambled up
her frail form to kiss her, as she
held tight to life like
a full-bloomed rose clings
to its petals. The mantra of
my own justification issuing from
her lying lips.

"You must live your own lives" caught
in the swirl of the fan and spat back into
that stifling space - to hang in the
air like a plastic halloween
spectre. Gruesome in its plain
simple truth. The silent words "you need
to stay" rebounding off my
selfish spirit as she reassured me
she was okay.


  1. Oh, my love. You know that I know how you feel...I understand the leaving of people, the guilt. I left my grandmother behind too, although we were not as close, and her words still haunt me " I don't expect I'll see you again" and she cried, not a woman who often showed emotion, but she cried for me leaving her. She was right, I didn't see her again.
    My own mother has echoed your grandmothers words too..not sure if she means it though, bless her.
    Such a beautiful poem, and I imagine at once cathartic yet painful. One of the bravest things we can do for ourselves is make peace with our past (still working on that one myself). xxx

  2. Oh dear not the best start to a morning reading that - setting me off thinking of GG Lil and holding her hands as she took her last breath. We were so lucky to be with her at that moment - and had we not moved her down here then we wouldn't have been.

    It is true you need to go live your life - but still doesn't stop the pain of not being there for them. Peggy was a wonderful lady and she would have been proud that you went off to try life in another country.


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