This week we feature a poignant poem by Steve, about the changes wrought on everyday life by bereavement.
When my dad died, she was never the same.
The little things seemed hollow now.
The sound of one spoon scraping
the morning bowl, scratchy, flat and empty.
No one to cook for now; she didn’t count.
Sometimes you’d catch her
staring out of the window,
as if she was not in the room.
She took up knitting again, painfully.
Perhaps she’d lost the knack or perhaps
she just couldn’t put her mind to it;
but it was months and months on end,
before that fair isle jumper of mine finally appeared.
I suppose it was a complicated pattern to follow,
after all those years, but I thought the challenge
might take her mind off things.
After that, those twitchy fingers
and blasted needles would battle no more.
They’d been inseparable all those years;
their life patterned with little time-tested rituals,
finely balanced one on another.
So when the base collapsed, the pieces
crashed into painful fragments of memory:
the cosy local, occasional bites to eat
in country pubs, Little Chefs, Berni Inns,
fish & chips for fortnightly Friday treats;
garden tended, lightbulbs changed,
the constant cough, the shuffling feet,
the snoring, sighs; the sound of two
spoons chiming on corn-flake-filled bowls.