Monday, 21 November 2016

Fairy wings

I wrote this poem years ago when I was in the wrong relationship. I sent it to you one night in response to your plea, 'send me a poem, Beverley Writer.' You said it was the saddest poem you had ever read and it made you cry. 'It makes me happy too, though,' you wrote, 'because I know my heart will soar with yours.' Oh, how we soared.

I just found this photo of myself amongst your files. I was dressed up as 'Fairy Tale' for a children's writing event. It made me think of the poem. What a sad fairy I look in this picture.  What a sad fairy I am now. Still, I read the poem again and, just like it did for you, it makes me happy and sad at the same time. However sad I am now (and I am unspeakably sad), nothing could be as sad as being that fairy pinned down with the broken wings. I know that now that you have shown me how it feels to be cherished, even if I am on my own for the rest of my life, I will never be in that situation again. I hate the idea that there might be a silver lining to this cloud, but a touch of fairy dust maybe I'll allow. Somehow, I will clean up those fairy wings and I will fly. Maybe, if I fly high enough, I can reach you still.

Fairy wings

I saw a pair of fairy wings hanging in the sun,
like all a girl’s childhood dreams spun
in pink and lilac. When I slipped them
on I knew they were the one.
Like Harry Potter’s wand, my wings chose me
and I believed that with them
I could dance beyond the edge
of reason, fly sky high and touch
the stars, sprinkle the world with
fairy dust and magic charms,
leave gold flecks in your hair.

You laughed at me.
You didn’t believe in fairies
or magic or the joy of flight.
You brought me back to earth
with a bump and I squeezed
back my tears, but I bought
the wings anyway and in my dreams
for a while at least, I could still fly.

Like a butterfly I longed to flit
from flower, to precious, glorious flower,
to taste the flavours of the rivers of the world,
to rest my fairy crown with yours on shores,
and banks and heather and moor.
I thought that’s what life was for.
But you blotted out the colours to monochrome,
you cut down all the blossoms that were not home.
And then you started to pick at my fairy wings.
You wanted me pinned in your collection,
safe and still.
Your capture made me ill.

Dutiful,  I accepted your ban on all the people
I had ever loved and all the places I had ever been.
I did what I was told, stuck to safe topics like the weather
(British of course, no foreign climes accepted here),
didn’t dare to mention that the stars shine like gold
on other side and how I longed to take you there.
It was quieter then, the way you like it
but in my dreams sometimes,
I could still dance, and sing and fly.

'I need to know where I stand.'
So I offered you my hand, told you that I
loved you more than stars and grains of sand,
proffered you a hundred grand, a plot of land
my family, my friends and everything I had.
But you pushed my love away
and you crushed my fairy dreams
and you tore my lovely wings to shreds,
left them scattered across a lonely bed.

But I still believe in magic.
Those scattered threads of pink and lilac
re-form now and again I see my fairy wings.
Like trusty friends they waited for me.
I put them on.
Step back if you will and see me fly. 

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