Hello my dear, it’s been too long
What have you been up to?
Well, this year I fell apart. A breakdown.
How about you?
I felt like I couldn’t go on
The kids, work, that neighbour from hell
I know what you mean hon,
I’ve had it tough as well
It’s exam year this year
And our oldest is just so stressed
They make it so difficult for them
Not good enough to do their best
Did you have a nice holiday?
I saw your post, looked indulgent!
Yes, two weeks on a beach in Turkey
Then my company made me redundant.
What are you doing for Christmas?
Are you visiting your family?
Not this year, no. ‘Cause of Dad
His health is not what it used to be
Doctor says it’s cancer. In his lungs
They missed it at his last check-up
They’re stretched too thin you know
The NHS. They just can’t cope.
So what’s next for you honey?
I just want a day, self-care, time for me
Life feels so full now
Those days are a just a memory
Well it was nice to see you
Let’s meet more often if possible
We always say that eh?
Then all the chaos takes control
Yes, give my best to everyone
It was lovely to see you too
We’ll pick up the pieces of our lives now
And pray, and hope, for happier news.
I sat working on a poetry project today in a local coffee shop and overheard a couple of friends greeting each other as they were catching up on each others news. They started withthe usual “How are you” which is nearly always followed by “Fine” or “Ok” or “Very well thank you, and you?” A ritual of shared language that conveys nothing. Of course conversation deepens once the social niceties are dispensed but very rarely will someone say how they feel with that frequently asked question.
Reflecting on this, I found myself scribbling away at a different conversation where the hidden was offered up freely from the start and let the pen take me where it wanted to go…