by Zena Spiers

There’s a lightsaber which sits
on top of my bookshelves
a talking point in the zoom meeting
that I time
by the two minutes too fast
beeping of your watch
whose battery outlasted yours.

There were boxes
now repacked into colourful
metal decorative trunks
with gold latches
that I prise open
sifting through forty-four years of life
stacked up neatly
in my hallway.

There are childhood drawings of birds
I wish I got the chance to ask you about
scribbles in pen and pencil
which I could mistake for mine.
There are photos
and magazine cut outs
Mods on vespas in green parka jackets
which match your one now stowed in my cupboard.
The one I’d always ask you if I could have.
There are birthday cards too
ones from me to you
from your brothers and friends
one with “50” emblazoned on it
for your fourtieth.
I suppose it seemed funny at the time.

I keep the Darth Vader shaped pillow
that you used to tuck down your side
as you sat in your purpose bought brown leather armchair
in our living room
while you inhaled oxygen through plastic tubes
in my living room
where it is still in reach
where I can grasp it
and clasp it to me
squeezing out the last remnants of your smell on it.

I listen to the Prodigy
wishing there was some slower
melancholic songs.
So grieving didn’t have to sound like
and feeling trapped in a state of grief ridden irony.

Zena Spiers

Zena grew up in Southend-on-Sea and relocated to Scotland in 2018 where she now lives with her partner, and their pug, Snape.  Zena’s work draws on her own experiences of loss; that of her father and stepmother who both passed away in their 40s. Zena has had her poetry published in Analogies & Allegories Literary Magazine.

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