The Green Dressing Gown.

Everyone’s gone home now.
Two weeks is enough, get out of bed, pull yourself together.
‘He’ wouldn’t want you like this, those kids need you.
Life must go on you know, even yours, ‘they’ say.

The house is silent, nobody phones, the little girls unnaturally quiet.
In a fever of activity we drag two double beds together, sew covers to fit.
Hiding under blankets in our nest, we cling together in our pain.
Telling stories of good times, now gone, we give him life again.
Split seconds of time on waking,
I forget, then memory comes catching up.
Days and nights pass into weeks,
reality, body wrenching, silent screams,
‘No God no’  ‘Not our Daddy’  ‘My lovely ‘Baby Blue’.
‘He didn’t deserve to die’  ‘He was a good man’.
Too far gone for tears.
Can’t breathe, Don’t want to breathe.

The old lady perseveres,
calling in, each time on passing by to shop.
Always bearing gifts, food, baking, accidentally extra to her needs.
She never seems to notice, me, living in the Green Dressing Gown.
Making conversation, she informs me,
she’s the daughter of a Baptist Pastor.
But her dad is now dead.
Inside my head I pray, please let her go away,
I want to crawl back in my bed.

He keeps calling me, I know he needs me still,
his presence every where.
Sometimes sitting still,
he blows on my neck, playfully, like a soft breeze.
We talk together about our girls, the teenager coping with work and house.
I can smell him, his hospital smell, following me, room to room.
Its getting much stronger, the call to go to him.
A spell of lucidity, banishes pills and knives to a rubbish bin.
The aching wrists, I want to stop, by cutting into them.

The old Baptist lady makes me open the door,
persistently knocking more and more.
As if death is a lottery, we tell each other,
our family number answered the call.
It won’t ever happen again, helps us rationalize away, paralyzing fear.
How fragile life is, Don’t you know, my Baby Blue, how I’m still in love with you.

Security and permanence, illusions too easily shattered.
One year on,
big red bus, narrow road, no room to pass,
useless motorbike helmet,
neck broken, gone.
They all come back,
get out of the Green Dressing Gown to,
attend, Son’s funeral,
take care of him, Aroha, ‘Baby Blue’.