Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Holding On

Image borrowed from Bing

Holding On

Who was I to think I could hold onto her,
the join between us invisible as I pulled
and dragged her through another day?
I was trying to keep her alive for me,
I see that now.
Grief is all about the 'me'.
She was tired and I was no angel with wings
that could grant her another day in this world.
She was halfway out of it anyway.
I was just one hollow eyed daughter trying
to fight a battle I knew I couldn't win.
Some nights when I was with her
I could barely brush my own hair,
the mere act of raising a brush
made me want to cry with tiredness
and sleep the sleep of a fairytale princess.
Just a thousand years of sleep will do.

'Irish girls never brush their hair',
an old English boss of mine said to me once.
I was never quite sure whether
it was a compliment or an insult.

'Never trust a girl with neat hair', I said to him,
a look of bewilderment crossing his face.

I told my mother this
on one of our long nights together
towards the end.

She was affronted for me.
That's why I told her.
And that's why I tried to keep her here,
one foot in each world.
Who's going to be affronted for me now?

Who's going to mind if an Englishman insults my hair?

Brigid O'Connor

Posted over on her site Sort Of Writing
Listed as #3 over on Magpie Tales 47

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