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Blog - Richard Downes

For Esme (Wherever Life May Find Her)

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For Those We Miss and Who We Were

Researching images for a powerpoint and speech on advocacy I came across a Carl Jung quote. Something about, it’s not what happened to you it’s about what you become. I liked that. It fitted very well with what I wanted to say. Two days later I was out with a young family. Two of the boys were asking about my poetry. I told them I was thinking about that quote, thinking about how we are idly labelled, put into convenient boxes, when we are all more than that. When we are everything, each and everyone one of us and how each of us, in turn, are connected to everything else. The day had an earlier moment at my sisters gravestone. 6 years on. More people than my sister are missing from these lines.

For Esme (Wherever life may find her)

Esme.
We spent time with your brothers and sisters.
They are well.
Young, youthful, enquiring.
Do you miss the sky?
The bright blue shades,
The darkness of the night?
The life; the love?
Do you miss the Rain that pours
Into the flowing Cygnnus River?
The Rain that is scorned by Meadow?
That dries hard in the daytime
Which is loved by the Moon
When Sky holds rain cloud back?

Esme
Do you miss your mother?
The roaring fox
Who bought the life
Who gave the names
Of Sky, of Rain, of River
What of your half sister
Teeming with birds and bees in summer
What of the lunar months now missing

Esme
I think of my sister
Her very skin and blister
I see how death boxed her off
Into miniscule words
Claiming daughter, kin and friendship
Above the ground holding her bones
Which still takes the Rain
Falling from Sky
Into that flowing River
Gliding past the Meadow
Beloved of the Moon

And Esme
I consider these words
And claim them
Devoid of laughter
Shamed of colour
I feel the frown
A falling tear
And wish it could be different
As I approach this stern trial of separation
A movement of the Moon
Above the sleeping Meadow
Beside the silent River
Starved at this time of Rain
And all beneath the Sky
I feel no blame today
No guilt
I just hope for greater labels.

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