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trouble travels on many winds

and snags itself in sunshine hair

This morning,

after the phone call

from my mum,

I try to reach the girl,

five or six years old,

who flew from Canada

to Lincolnshire to meet

her scattered family.

she still stands there, by the window,

laughing at some unforgotten something

Of course she was ours

from the moment she was made.

Nanna’s million photos pointed,

one by one, to each new stage:

first tooth, first words

first finger painting.

Those summer days of den building,

cakes and cats and curry making,

became myth-sized memories:

ice-cream clouds

to keep afloat a storm-born tree.

those of us left, still have that grin

tucked somewhere safe

Ten years later, she’s on a Sussex beach,

shivering against the wind.

I trace a mind-line around her teenage self,

bravely facing waves

in a bikini, bought for Brazil.

scattered family

words said. unsaid. unsaid. unsaid

When I get the news

there’s nothing to do.

Nothing useful.

Too hard to solve the unsolvable.

Too late anyway.

frayed chords worn

salt-tears dried

they tried. they tried

I flick through Facebook:

The missed calls in the middle of the night.

The three month chip.

And more.

The setting and resetting of hopefulness:

new course, new job, new friend, new love.

Oma, Opa, Brother, Brother, Sister

Nanna, Grandpa, Mum, Dad.

demons leap lightly

but fall on heavy feet

You will be missed.

You will be missed.

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