Saturday, 16 April 2016

Prompt 12 - Turning towards the smouldering ache of loss

You were a man of fire and the flames of love were strong. From the first date when we made a poker together on your anvil, hammering red hot metal, bodies close together, feeling the heat rising between us. You were overwhelmed by your passion. Almost ran away. For all the pain your death has caused me, I'm so glad that you didn't, so glad we shared what we shared together. You built me bonfires on the moors and stoked the flames of log burning fires in holiday cottages. There was fire in our hearts from the moment we met. In the last poem I wrote about you, I wrote of sparks turning into flames. And then, suddenly, just when the fire was blazing, someone put it out. Smouldering is the right word for this loss.

Last week we held a bonfire in your memory. I was so numb, I stood in the embers of the fire, melted the soles of my boots until the stones from your yard were embedded like jewels in metal. I take those stones with me now, feel their imprint as they dig into the soles of my feet. It feels fitting to carry that pain as I walk.

The truth is, it is easy for me to turn towards this pain. The pain is comforting. Because the pain speaks of love. I feel close to you, lying here, feeling this searing, smouldering heartbreak. It brands me with the knowledge of how deeply I loved. How much I have lost.  Easier to feel it than to turn away, to enter into the cool worlds where the fire has gone out, where eyes glaze like pale marbles in artificial light. Stay here with me where the flames are still bright.  They say that if you play with fire you will get burned. I played. It burnt. It hurts. But it is real.