It was a matter of Justice.
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The Grey LadyWhen I first saw her, sitting in the middle of a vast armchair, staring out of the window - I was reminded of the Grey Lady. She was Grey. But she couldn't have been more than eight or nine years old. Her hair was long and perfectly straight but it looked dusty. As if she had been sitting there for years, forgotten. Her eyes were sunken, sallow. Her skin was a pallour of grey that I've never seen on a human being before. Dark, damp, but it looked as though if you touched her a cloud would form in front of you. Dusty.
I was one of the unfortunate parents roped into going on a residential school trip to the Lake District. It was my job to tick off the names as people left the reception of the school and clambered into the bus. I ticked my own son off as he stood beside me, nervously reaching to catch my free hand and continued through the list of his classmates one by one. The grey girl didn't move and I hesitated as I ran my finger down the register. I had ticked every name and it was a
I thought I knew my death.I thought I knew my death. He grabbed my heart one day and squeezed tightly, banded fear wrapping its way around my body and terrorizing the air from my lungs. "Not..Like..This.." I would gasp, thinking that there must be some better way out. I would start to beg but it would soon be over. He'd release me and my body would give up. There would be nothing left to say.
I thought I knew my death. She would slip into the shadows some months before I thought my time was up. She would slowly take my memories for my own, replacing them with child's talk and nonsensical things. "Oh please, won't somebody help me." It would be a rhetoric, although I wouldn't know that then.
I thought I knew my death. He would seep into my skin and beneath my bones. Disease would spread through my veins, shutting me down. My very soul would ache, because cancerous ways could do cancerous things. He would wrap himself around my very voice, my heart, my tissue and my being. "Take me home." I w
Counting BonesTo An Unknown Lady,
They found your remains a few days ago. They speculate that you were buried more than half a decade ago. Yet people have only been looking for seven days. Properly looking I mean. Somebody somewhere must have searched out of love for you the minute you disappeared.
We don't know much about you yet, but the newspapers will begin to piece together fragments of your tragic life and how you came to be lying in the earth without recognition. No gravestone, no testimony to your living and breathing existence, not even an empty vase with the congealed dead particles of flowers to signify grief.
There are flowers there now. Does that make you feel any better? That hundreds and hundreds of people now know of your existence in death? Recognition such as this would never have been craved in life, but if it was all you could claw back once you had died would you have shouted from the hilltops that you lay beneath cold grass?
You're not the only one. You are
I am not myself anymoreDeath lay in the middle of the lawn this morning. There was no frost or early morning dew, instead a cool grey palour explored the sky with fingertips of gruel. There was nothing to suggest that anything else had changed, only the smell of grief and the echo of regret crossed into the morning air.
As Death lay, the sun rose and lit up the curling tips of springtime petals. The leaves on trees crackled and stretched almost imperceptibly. They shook away the yawns of Winter without a backward glance. Hungrily, with two steps to the left and a raunchy shake of boughs they jived into Spring.
Life continued as Death lay. The groans of people as they woke to face another day and shrugged off the idea of somebody else's problem tiptoed out of half open windows and unhinged doorways.
Death didn't change her position in the middle of the lawn. She lay beneath an Oak Tree that they say takes three hundred years to grow, three hundred years to live and three hundred years to die. She tho
Sea Glass and SandThe only day she could recall that they lived without fear, was a trip to the beach when the children were small. It was late September and an Autumnal breeze whipped skirts and peeled their long blonde hair back from their heads without mercy. Nobody complained though. They spread blankets on the fine sand and despite the chill the sun warmed them briefly - just enough to get by. That was all she ever would ask for. They drank hot chocolate from the cafe and didn't eat the grainy sandwiches that she had lovingly packed that morning. Instead they bought fish and chips and shared a carton of mushy peas, warm and sweet. The children swam in waves that gently caressed the shore. Whilst she pretended to read but really kept two well trained eyes on the bobbing heads, they hunted sea glass and sand dollars. When they finally heeded her calls to the beach they were shivering and salty, their hair knotted and woven with the ocean. She enveloped them in bright blue towels and instantly the sme
A Broken DreamHe was just eight years old when he witnessed death for the first time. They had been moving through staccato traffic for fifteen minutes in the growing dusk before his Mother spoke.
It's beautiful she had said softly, her eyes settling on something caught in the headlight reflection bouncing back from the front window. He had leant forward in his seat, craning his neck to see what had captured her attention. An opaque moth lay helplessly trapped beneath the wiper blades. Touching the cold glass gently he had pleaded with her to set it free.
As they crept forward, inching along the motorway, the traffic on either side grew parrallel with their wing mirrors. People were looking up, pointing. There was somebody stood on the bridge, an inky sillouhette against a blushing sky.
Look Mum, he pointed, but she was already tilting her neck to see above them. I know, Honey she replied, her mouth set in a grim line as they both realised what they had missed before. The f
Three days of the LastShe spent a lifetime of living in order to prepare for her death but the final steps and the lasting moments were spread out poignantly across just three days.
On the first day of the last, she taught all that she knew to the one who would be left behind. She imparted the final gifts of her wisdom with every ounce of strength that she had left.
On the second day of the last, she said her goodbyes. She visited each of her family in turn and helped them to understand, in her own unique way, that it was finally time to let go.
On the third day of the last, she removed herself from all that she knew and all that knew her and climbed the highest mountain with the bestest view from her dreams.
On that final day, the last of the last, she fell into the deepest of sleeps.
Peaceful, endless and comforting.
Four Thousand PiecesWe met outside the morgue. You were there with your hair too bright and clothes that we had fought over that very morning. You were crouched, your body looking impossibly small and broken.
You can't wear that out. You look like a prostitute.
I'm eighteen years old Mum, I can wear what I like.
All at once you were the brand new baby that I had held in my arms, sobbing over the tiny miracle that your Father and I had never thought possible. Then, you were five years old, and it was time to begin school. You had looked up at me with big green eyes and a serious smile as you proved over and over that you could fasten the Velcro on your brand new shoes.
You smiled at me now, outside this place that we didn't belong in, and I saw the stabilisers that Gary had taken from your bike. He had watched you cycle down the road, ten years old, the proudest Father at that moment in time. I could tell you that he hid tears from you that day. But I don't.
Instead I ask you how your day wa
ChoiceWhen she thought about him, her recollection didn't fit the the person he once was, in her memory. So she had to go there, find him, and try and prove to herself that nothing had changed. Yet his face, you could see it in his eyes, was broken. The image he projected of himself was one that was violated and bruised. His eyes lit through his very soul but the colour wasn't right. They'd always been brown, but now they were grey, as if they were the very first part of him to give up living.
"I want to die."
His strained words matched the pieces his broken body had splintered into and she gripped his wrist between icy cold fingers whilst trying to find the words that could convince him to change his mind. She wasn't shocked, but she was saddened, and she ran her thoughts through their best and most common memories to find something to convince him to breathe.
"When you die," she said calmly, "You don't get to feel the wind in your hair as you drive along an empty road with the windows roll
UnforgettableFive years of us
learning each other,
loving each other,
before we took our vows
and began anew.
Twenty hours of travel
was well worth it.
The paradise we found
in that faraway land
took my breath away.
and a cabin in the rain forest
overlooking a black sand beach.
Our pale skin pinked under the Costa Rican Sun,
the burn soothed under a cloudless sky.
We watched glimmering stars,
brighter in the absence of city lights.
by foreign tongues and familiar arms.
An experience with no parallel.
Taking our commitment
and testing it
making it stronger.
I hiked on slippery rocks
to get to that special place,
to stand underneath that waterfall
To laugh with you,
to take in the wonder of the world
in your company.
To smile just because…
I married you.
Seattle NightsCoffee shops, raindrops,
My heart stops.
Phone calls, shopping malls,
Youve broken down these walls.
Romantic dates, a warm embrace,
Entwined are our fates.
Sinking ships, pressing lips,
The way you move your hips.
Smooth strides, my heart glides,
My nervousness now hides.
On my mind, pain in rewind,
You are the perfect find.
Time to waste, off to space,
Always making my heart race.
She is the RainHer eyes are droplets
that at will wax torrential
shredding scar tissue
revealing new flesh—
receding the Lake of Fire
where Archangel died
laying at the summit
of self-sacrificial vice.
Her hair is the daybreak:
cascading in waves
or ribbons of gold
lighter than ash
that razes the sky,
and we hold our breath
for the cloudburst
28 daysthey came over on a boat, i imagine,
(for i was not the there and they do not speak of it)
they came over on a boat i imagine,
just like the rest of them,
from lucerne or bavaria or kaposvar or drywseved
escaping medieval forests, rain playing peat bogs
like organ keyboards,
they were farmers, sown to wheat like arranged marriage,
mike had one ox, two bulls and a chest like stone & mortar,
he was a good man, looked god in the eyes at dawn,
whispered secrets to his bedsheets at night,
ed, ed was a freight train, handlebar moustache & coal-fired cheeks,
when he was eleven, ed built the honesdale canal with nothing except
his hands and the lord as a witness,
don't take my word for it but rumor has it there was a little napoleon
in him after all,
it was after the war,
the one of blue and grey and red
they must've looked up like children do
must've seen her, slow dancing in the harbor,
marveled at the way her arm never grew weary, brow never sweaty,
the way the green brown water smiled up a
It Only Took 3 Little WordsAfter all these years, I still dont understand why it was so difficult for you to admit it. Why couldnt you just utter those three simple words Id been waiting to hear ever since at the carnival, when I won you that stuffed teddy bear. Once I saw your normally pale face become flushed with color, (and that crooked smile of yours) I knew right then and there that you would be the one.
We first bumped into each other at a sandwich shop. I mistook you for one of my brothers friends and spoke for what seems like ages, (realistically no more than 30 seconds) before you stopped me and informed me that we had never met before. I bit my lip and turned bright red as your lips bent upward forming a smile. You assured me I wasnt that red and there was no need to be embarrassed. (Dont take me for a fool, even though Im just a fool for you) You then convinced me to buy your sandwich, since I obviously knew you so well. (I always was
Hold OnMy heart takes a tumble,
My face grows flushed.
With what to say I fumble,
Never knowing I could blush.
We stare up into the skys bright lights,
Following the paths of planes with entwined hands.
Let us live free, knowing we have plenty more nights,
We have time to spare, not needing to make plans.
We see the city lights burning,
As we lay in arms atop the tallest hill.
With your warm touch, I feel my insides turning,
As I wipe away your tears, mine begin to spill.
I cant help but worry one day you will leave,
For you are perfect and I am merely broken.
I never know what to say and sometimes I forget to breathe,
You remember every moment, each word I have spoken.
The moon soaks up our embrace,
As we float off into the unknown.
We leave silently, not leaving a trace,
Holding on so we wont be alone.
Do Not Wake MeDo not wake me from this sleep
For it would disrupt my dream
And do not force me to face
The inevitability of reality
For in this dream I am safe
My fears and stress have been erased
Everything is here as it should
Even the horror has been replaced
Waking me would break the glass
Of the mirror I have forged
That holds this false reality
Of the perfection that I dream
So with a hint of a smile
Resting on my sleeping face
I ask you from behind closed eyes
To not wake me from this dream
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