The First

The first passes in a silent spell

What should I say? I’m only just realising

That my squirming toes don’t touch the floor

When I sit at the table, face front,

Shoulders even, open and incomplete.


I’m better these days, I say. I get out of bed in the mornings,

I work. We’ll think of ways to keep me floating,

To stop me sinking into the undercurrents.

I nod and agree not to thrash and to keep my eyes on the sky

Although what I really want to say is

That I like flowers too. And my favourite colour is pink.

Can we go see the ocean?


I’ve been buying bookshelves, making sandwiches,

Thought rearranging thought

Saying it as it is: The days are cool and the house

Is soundless. Occasionally out and about an old man’s slow voice

Or a friend’s sturdy hand on the back of my chair

And I am immobile with wonder.

Thinking about these things as I walk down the street

Sunlight pouring everywhere –

Should I go back to the touch and the whisper?

Or should I go to the sea?


So January is passing. I feel better at school these days. (There are times when I actually manage to understand what’s going on). The days have been still and there is little to life besides demands and words and demands for words. At home my sister has thrown herself into her drawing, my brother into his games, and I find more and more solace in my work.

School life is kind of empty and lonely, and I struggle with uneasy, unsettled feelings. But I guess that’s just what it is for most people. On weekends I’ve been going to birthday parties and gatherings, deeply enjoying the comfort of pink and purples and blues and lovely people.


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