Opening the Sky

Late summer, the family of hedge cutters arrive. A little ritual of forgetting, and then ‘same price as last year’ is agreed. His handshake (the father) turns into the twisted palm clasp; pulls in for a shoulder bump, though our combined ages are astronomical. He calls me brother, or youth. I have written about him before.
Smoke-break on the steps, he quizzes me – asks if we’ve got kids. No, I tell him, and he follows up with ‘were you just not bothered?’.
I have a stock reply to do with ‘not being blessed’, which genteel-horror – self-ruining, fey and Victorian – sticks in my bothered throat. I can’t remember when I started with the phrase, just the many times it’s been usefully deflecting – or returning.
We tried; it didn’t happen. We had their names, they didn’t come. We saw so many others struggling, fitful, and knew we wouldn’t put ourselves through that. People will still tell me about the wonder and life-changingness, as if I cannot understand.
The room where I now work we still call The Baby Room. Sometimes hesitantly. I am not working there today; am instead with the tree-felling family: opening the sky at last for a new brightness for B., for when she comes home.

Garden Snail

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About Stevie Mitchell

I come from a long line of cartoons and beer. I was once peed on by a tiger. Hoping the resultant super-powers are yet to come, cos if these are they, then, grrrr....
This entry was posted in Creative Writing, Family History and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Opening the Sky

  1. LVital7019 says:

    Normally I’m asked why only one or why didn’t I give my son a sibling, why make him grow up all alone. Innocent enough question(s) yet with sort of an intrusive, accusatory feel. People… :/

    Lovely snails! I’m a bit jealous since the only ones ever found crawling around our gardens are plain, gray leaf nibblers (destroying our roses usually). We do find some interesting slugs though 😉

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