We scattered you
Under the fig tree
So we could feel your touch
On the wind
And bite into your fleshy fruit.
Some of you we threw
Into the lake where we spent last summer.
I don’t know
Which part of you it was -
Your liver, your spine
Or maybe your ears
(my favourite bit of you)
We scraped you
Off our shoes
where we left you at the end of the garden
We wanted you close.
They’ve gone now, the fanfare
The house is quiet
Things rustle, and I think of the day
I ran ten miles for charity.
But you had tears in your eyes at the finish line.
A 40 year legacy
Evaporated when they knew
nothing else would work.
You were resigned,
But I could smell the fear on you.
I still had it, though - hope - held it close.
You laughed at that.
A slow process of decaying -
I peaked at 13
Next to the burning candles of a menorah
They said my face was stately
The perfect shade of wild strawberries.
I didn’t feel whole until, at 21,
but couldn’t swim
Falling through the deep green
Past mermaids, naiads,
Until suddenly I broke the surface.
Life’s like that:
a process of falling, upwards.
You would have laughed at that.
But now -
The space where your laugh was.
The jars you collected for me
Are still there, on the top shelf.
You never stopped hoping that I might make my
Pineapple and fig jam again.
I didn’t have the heart to throw them away
But I did stand on a chair and put the last of you into a slender jar.
One of these days:
I hope I don’t mistake you for pepper.