and in the shop…
pamphlet collection –
“The Memory of Water”
“Eva and George: Sketches in Pen and Brush”
Pin Drop Press;
“How to Pour Madness into a Teacup”
remember how she didn’t take her blunt playschool scissors
to your Tiny Tears doll, didn’t lop off a curl,
how it didn’t make you cry for three nights in a row,
your only consolation, not inviting a mantra to your lips:
You are not my sister, you are not my sister.
Think of that night she wasn’t at the tap-end
of the bath, not blowing bubbles through her fingers,
not sloshing them over your face, how water didn’t slop
over the bath’s rim, how you didn’t slip
when your mother hugged you out in a towel.
Memorise how she didn’t cuddle close for those stories,
clap when they escaped the Gingerbread House. Learn how
she didn’t travel with you on the school bus, wasn’t there
when you rubbed your fingers over the invisible bruise
that couldn’t yellow on your thigh, wasn’t bashed by her bag.
Before you know it, she’s not at your wedding,
taking the posy from your nervous hands, doesn’t smile
when she doesn’t do it. Bear in mind she didn’t
have that look in her eyes when she didn’t hold your son
in her arms in amazement. Learn by heart those miles
she couldn’t take because you couldn’t call her at two a.m.
thinking he might die from colic. Remember how
she doesn’t say she loves you more now than ever, and how
desperate that cannot make you feel. And know now
all you can say is, I miss you, I miss you.