An only child has a vivid imagination,
and there was I creating a cave –
a make believe cave – with fine soil
spooned over a cardboard frame.
It was in the narrow flower bed
beneath my parents bedroom window.
My stomach was tense and sick.
I could hear their angry shouting.
And as my cave was finished
ready for lead soldiers to enter,
she said that she would leave him.
I vomited away my make believe.
And then it rained upon the scene
as salty tears silently erupted
and dripped on everything
beneath my lowered head.
I ran into my Grandad’s garage,
sat, lonely, in his Ford Pilot car
and waited. It became dark outside,
there was a horrible silence.
Eventually I was called for Tea.
It was my loving grandmother
who put her arm around me and
guided me back indoors.
She sat me on the draining board
and washed my face and hands.
She must have seen the tear stains
but never said a single word.
What could she have said?
Did they know I could hear them?
I doubt. The argument too intense,
the shouting far too loud.
But they made my solid World shake loose.
The days that followed were silent
and a strange tension filled the air.
Every morning I became relieved anew
that they were both still there.
I can still feel that sickness
all these years later, that terrible
fear my little World might change
beyond imagination – for ever.
I couldn’t help it, but, twice,
at each of their cremations,
I remembered those feelings
as I felt their loss for real…
© Griffonner 2022