Unpinned – Written by Katherine Garratt – August 2021


My hands were always smaller than yours
You’d press your palm to mine and the difference amused you
The Last Time
I sat with your left, in my right
Still warm, slightly puffy
It didn’t take mine as it used to
Because, and you told me this is how it would feel…
You Were Not There
Everything that was You had gone
(this bird has flown)
And all that was left were the lost figures around your bed
Cut adrift without the anchor of You
I was not enough to contain the shards of this family
In my small hands
There was no togetherness
No comfort in what was left of us
You took that with you, the love, the belonging
The hugs where we tried to press through to the other side of one another
Up in smoke with your earthly body
I tried to make it feel pretty
To look up at the sky
Imagine you as a burst of Roman candles against my black and blue
The one who lit the touch paper to my every childhood firework
Launched my imagination into a limitless universe
You were the metal tin, lid sealed tight
Protecting me from flying sparks
The string between my mittens on a chilly November night
You’d dash from the back door with a sparkler you lit on the cooker
And very earnestly, small hands would spell out
With x x x crosses x x x for kisses until the flame sputtered out
And larger hands took the hot metal away to protect little fingers
You were the pin to my Katherine wheel
The absolute centre of me
The root of my colours and flight
And when your light extinguished
…. When my Mummy died
The pin was pulled
I somersaulted within
Spinning with loss into an unending void
I rarely ever remember you in colour
Because if I did
The pain of the death of all that you meant to me would be too much to bear
So instead, I discreetly closed the lid
With my small hands
I had walked year miles without you when the route home was clear
Knowing I could turn my head and see you in the window
And as fruitless as it is
When I allow myself to really remember You
I’m waving and waving
In the frantic hope that you will see me and reach out
You’d press your palm to mine in amusement
“Haven’t you got small hands!”
And this should end with me smiling
Absorbing memories through your fingerprints
But the unpalatable truth is
That my grief is not pretty
No rounded full-circled ending
Mum, it’s a bloody mess
I’m not delicately holding your hand for you to slip away from me again
I’m grabbing and pulling and all the while begging, there’s snot and sobbing and anger because you left me
You left me too soon

Katherine Garratt – 2021

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