Poetry: Christine Larsen

Christine Larsen

mirrored in the window there?
In dreams I was almost beautiful. 
I still am... 
but it's so deep inside now, 
all covered
by layer 'pon layer of Life now... 
I sigh!!
But wait. 
A second look,
and it's my mother mirrored there. 
Pulling back the curtain mists of time,
she look as surprised as I feel.
I've caught up with her.
Imagine that.


I can walk with you and talk with you.
Be a rare kind of friend.
Share your pain and grief with you. 
Might not ease your aching body, 
but your sorrowful heart? 
Surely, I could help that. 
Can't you see it in my eyes? 
I don't want it this way... 
Not when someone like you, 
looking deeply into my eyes,
sinking into the profundity of their truth,
knows how I'm crying deep, deep inside. 
You must see?
I grieve for those with eyes, 
but no sight, … or no insight?
Maybe no-one can reach that dark place of our soul.
We DO have a soul... don't we?


He said I had hair like an angel.
I said his was more the angel-kind, 
blonde and softly curling about his ears.
He said he would love me forever.
I said I truly believed MY forever was longer.
He put his arms around me,
he said he'd never let me go. 
I held him tight as I could, but all too soon, 
he started slipping away.
He said goodbye. 
I refused to cry... in front of him. 
He never saw the pain, the fear, the hole in my heart no other could fill. 

Well, hallo again he said, fifteen years later. 
His eyes loved me anew. 
We're back, I said. It's truly US again. 
And my eyes glowed. I could feel their heat. 
First-time love could never compete... with this. 
Forever WAS true. 
This time.


But wait - not the kind to strike alarm, even terror in the heart. 
Not THIS one.
First indoors fire of the year. 
Dear old combustion heater 
Your earliest flames lick greedily around the redwood logs
orange glow makes our world cosier.
enfolding most of our home in loving, soothing arms.
Once we loved Summer, 
we were young and bold and beautiful then. 
Now nothing compares 
to the comfort of Winter fires,
nudging old bones'  memories of sunshine and joy 
when skies are grey and forbidding
rain patters on iron roof, adding its own charm to being inside, 
staring into those mesmerising flames, 
dreaming impossible dreams with no care of them coming true.
Or not.
A smiling cat close as she can be on the brick hearth, 
pot of soup… or is it stew, bubbling cheerfully on top.
It really doesn't get much better than this.


Towering above me in this forest of giants,
higher than high,
your height makes me small.
Forced awareness of my 'grain of sand' self.
Yet these are but babes in the woods [literally],
Compared to great mountains,
Heaved up in the making of our world,
Or the grandest of canyons,
worked on by the elements
Since forever ago...
Whenever that was.
SO alien,
SO difficult,
For us to learn -
We need you,
You DON'T need us.


How can I tell you how much pain you cause me today?
And yesterday. And so many times before?
I can't. There are no words.
You're leaving me, aren't you?
I knew it was near but wouldn't face it. Couldn't. 
Unimaginable, Life without you…
but I can't tell you - even now, my last chance ever. 
There are no words in this mouth gone dry,
empty like the desert. 
But I can speak with my eyes. Can you read them once again? 
So often you saw through my excuses, my lies.  This time?
Will you look once more deep inside,
understand the love I cannot speak? 
I'm SO sorry, but I'm no good at this dying stuff, my dearest Mum.
I must go before the crying starts.
My throat is closing up. 
Like you, I can barely breathe. 
How to stay? 
... and say,
Goodbye my darling. 

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