Monday, 30 November 2009

Black Box Recorder

Black box recorder,
I can’t carry you around with me anymore-
you are too heavy.
The weight of you is dragging me down.
It is time to put you in a safe place
where I can access you from time to time,
when I need to.

I phone up the self storage company
and I pay for a small unit.
I order a cab to take us there.
I have a padlock and a key which I take out of my pocket.
I fill out the paperwork and sign my name,
Then I am shown where to go.
I open the door,
It is a silver cell: safe, dry, not too warm or cold.
Your lights blink...

Black box recorder,
Don’t worry, I’ll be back-
you will continue to record my successes and struggles.
You are treasure and wisdom as well.

Then I say goodbye,
I shut the door and click the lock,
I put the key in my purse,
I leave.
I am cleared for takeoff-
The future is light.

This is a poem I wrote a year ago. It marked a big change in my life at a time when I was having bereavement counselling and learning to leave the past behind. It also marked a point where my writing changed. I can't say exactly why but maybe it just became more honest. I would happily pull this to pieces now and re-write it but I am putting it here in its original finished form for posterity. A lot has happened since I wrote this and I have much to be thankful for. At the time my tutor said it was as if I had walked away from disaster unscathed. I think it is more accurate to say I survived, gained some valuable insights and then moved on.

Anything is possible.

Monday, 9 November 2009


Burrowing under the duvet with a teddy tucked under one arm, your cold feet on my legs.

First cup of coffee.

Your surprised smile as “Rock Around the Clock” hits the car stereo half way round Tolworth Roundabout.

Feeling torn as I leave you at nursery,

Feeling relieved to know I can leave you there and you will be fine.

A quiet hour to dye my hair green and get organised. Blessed indeed.

A woman at the door selling organic compost, who remembered my mum, was surprised to see me, shocked to hear of her death three years ago. Still remembered ,Mum, still remembered.

A crazed half hour of trying to print out poems and get out of the door: lots of swearing.

Hellos and How are yous from friends after an intensive one to one playful weekend with my beloved 2 year old son ends.

Mistaken for being in my twenties by a fellow student – she could not believe I am 39.

Two drafts of poems I am happy to read aloud. The promised land.

Each day a shimmer and a change in the fabric. Weft and warp.