Note to the son 3:

He couldn’t look me in the eye. I couldn’t hold this gaze much longer either, the tears were slowly welling and I didn’t want him to see me cry: I didn’t want him to think me weak.

[What is weakness but strength hidden,
what are damned tears and a stern face
if not markers of fear victorious
flags at the feet of mountains
and courage lost…
and courage lost.]

He only ever cried once when I was around. That was a while ago, nearly a decade. Time has made me unsure of the honesty in the droplets he slowly wiped with his handkerchief, folded into a perfect square.

[These ‘spots of time’ like brushstrokes loose their paint the further they stretch,
colour rages against the canvas, the canvas wins – unless the painter dabs once more.
But some streaks are seared, from the furnace to the mind they are etched
and like the wounds they are, remembered they are ever sore.
And scarred ….
And scarred…
And maybe sacred.]

Shame had brought us here. The same that made me quiver when I thought of how I might end up opposite you. Just as he does opposite me. Afraid to become a composite I had lived up to my name – his name. IF we end up here I hope you’d not hide as I did.

And thus we stood in silence. The words like a torrent had flown out and filtered downstream. Wetting the hard stones on their way to the plains. Forgotten until our descent.

[… and like wounds they were, remembered ever sore.
and ever sacred…
never sacred…
always scared like courage lost…
and no more…
no more.]

“Yet to those who believed”… Help my unbelief.

© Denis Adide 2013

38da5-fatherholdingbabieshand

After the silence

“… An awful lot of coming and going and swooping round of Christmas presents and the young rushing down to the shops for last minute things; at the moment there are quite a number of boxes of sweets, etc, here… That’s all very well here, but who are we bombing this Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve, who are we bombing on Christmas night, when the snow lies thick on the ground oh? This bloody silly war”.

Naomi Mitchinson

 

Worth a thought no?

Short stories 005: Crossing (intro)

He took the ring off. Placed it on the table. The palm of his hand was still itching from the cuts that the hasty opening of the brandy had dished. It was a quiet house for now. “The sirens will break it; someone will hear”. Heartbeats and breaths turned seconds to an hour spent staring at the window: the curtains were drawn. She was dead. The doors were shut. Bar the empty bottle, he was alone. Like slow tears the fading lights trickled through the gaps in the curtains – caressing his sweating brow: dusk; and darkness.

She was dead. The thought, once ejected, resounded off the guitar in the corner, the low chandelier, the oak coffee table – that she had picked out, the leafless bonsai – a birthday gift, the clock…and the clock – she was dead. ¬†Breaths consumed themselves, heartbeats chastised, and the second hand nailed him to the dusk: to the darkness. Dead!

He scratched his itchy palm, pulling more of the grazed skin off, winced, sighed, and yielded to sleep.