Sheets of rain


He stands by the window, waiting, waiting. Waiting for his father to collect him for the weekend. He waits for the sound of his dads car at the end of the road. I sit on the sofa watching him waiting. He is late, ten minutes late. He doesn’t like it when he is late. He likes a hug on the sofa before he goes. He hates the parting just as much as I do.

I pretend that his father doesnt exist. For me that is an easier way to cope. Of cause he does exist. For my son he is an abiding presence. For me there is always an absence. A hole. He takes my child. He takes him away. He always takes him away. It always feels like a theft and this sense of stollen never fades. Stollen becomes sadness. I await his return, the house turns silent when he is away.

I never hear the neighbours, only when he is gone.

Sheets of rain drift across the valley. The trees bend in the wind.

He is gone and he is gone.

I am left with my little boy.

My man is still away. The routine operation turned out not to be so stress free after all. I played it down and played it down. I lay awake all night. He couldn’t come home. They bought him back from the brink of death. Blood in his lungs. Me and Syd tried to chear him up on the phone by singing I am the resurrection and I am the light, he couldn’t really laugh back.

I couldn’t manage to see him last night. The car is making a terrible sound, so this morning me and Naoise will go and rescue him. Ward 8, they say.

I had been waiting and waiting in the studio, drawing, writing, busying myself. I couldn’t concentrate too well, I hadn’t slept the night before due to anxious thoughts going around and around. The surgeons knife and the anaesthetic. The drug of sleep.

Did they give him too much? What went wrong? There are questions that I need answering.

There is blood on his lungs. His throat is sore, but he can eat toast so he is probably just fine.

The tree branches don’t sway they make circles.

I wish I was a swallow, constantly living in the summer. This time of year is black, black, black. It makes me eat and eat and eat. Sugar. I ate fudge piece after fudge piece after fudge piece. I dare not get on the scales. I am scared about my own reality. My body expands to contain the emotions. Bad food comforts bad thoughts, insecurities, anxiousness.

Mum and dad took me and the children to the pub to eat. The cheap pub, the pub where the food is so cheap that its hard to understand how they manage to run a business from it. A free drink with each meal. I ate greasy fish and chips, helped down with a glug of wine. I enlivened the meal with tomatoe sauce, brown sauce, tartare sauce. The food was dull and fatty.

Naoise pulled and tugged at me and struggled to sit still. My dad complained when he kicked him by mistake. My dad complained about the state of the toilets. I was grateful for the meal, but I was in the wrong place. P in hospital, me trying to enjoy my parents. It didn’t really work I couldn’t really relax.

They are kind. They care. My mum is calm. My dad is thoughtful to Syd, and they share thoughts and ideas about history, world war one and all the people in our family that died in the war.

My dad talks about spinsters. About three sisters that used to make a fuss of him. Many were left behind. An aunt who lost her son and spent all her life sitting beside a framed photograph of him, missing him.


Death is always lurking, just beneath.

Bang, bang, bang. My next door neighbours seem addicted to house renovations. What more can there be to do. The walls are thin. Every knock is heard.

The cars on the road. The train. The rain. Must stop and go and get up snoozing Naoise and rescue his dad from the white corridors.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *