the tenth month
It was supposed to get easier.
We count the days with increasing dread,
Reluctantly tearing the pages from our calendars
As the indifferent grip of time drags us ever closer
To the tenth month,
And the marking of its bitter harvest.
And the deep, abiding sadness that had dogged our steps caught up to us,
Caught our hands and spun us to look into its darkening gaze.
The ache sets in on the eighth cross.
And our happiness was tinged with a hurt
That no amount of makeup could erase from our eyes.
A hurt forever immortalised between gold-embossed covers of white leather,
As half of a face we barely recognised
Tried so hard to smile proudly from the middle of the frame.
And a part of the day that should have echoed with joy
Was shrunken, and stoic, and silent.
Twenty-seven steps of inevitability toward the unfaceable.
The world ended on the twenty-seventh cross.
The lights went out; the laughter ceased.
Songs forever changed their meaning.
The insult that the twenty-seventh cross brought twelve months later to add to our injury
Simply deepened the craters in the already war-torn surfaces of our worlds,
Scarred by the same disaster but in such different ways.
We carried its fraying wires and spiderwebbed glass gingerly in trepidatious hands,
Every tick of the second hand taking us away from the wounds of the tenth month.
At last emerging on the other side, we breathed our sighs of relief,
Only to have it explode in our faces just when we thought we were safe.
They all lied.
It was meant to get easier with time;
These vicious cuts were supposed to heal over
And leave scar tissue that was stronger for the experience.
They were not supposed to tear afresh
And soak our empty arms with the blood of our lacerated hearts,
With every step closer
To the tenth month.
Grandad (29 November 1922 - 8 October 2015)
Dad (16 January 1949 - 27 October 2015)
Nanna (28 July 1922 - 2 November 2016)
I love you and miss you all.
© mjc 26 October 2019