The Reeling

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Words: Eilidh McDade

My tea keeps going cold. I’m always forgetting it’s there. I want to cut my hair but I can’t let go of anything. I cannot tell you the number of times I have brushed the knots out the second you left the room. I can’t seem to remember to lock my front door anymore. I can recognise you from your shadow. Do you remember falling asleep with the candles burning? Have you heard that poem about how when you are born in a burning house, it makes you think the whole world is on fire? It was the same night i asked you to stop shaping me with your hands –              

                                                                             [ i used to think

                                                                                      a lot about your hands 

                                                                              trees could root in those palms 

                                                                       forests could bloom, they are so steady]

          I felt like a child

         scolded and ashamed 

       for asking ‘so much’ 

of you 

      for hating the way your words made me feel 

      there is no tenderness here.

      i’m sure there was once

                                        (although I’m not sure how much time has passed,) 

all i know 

is that the softness in me has grown tired 

like an old dog 

this undying loyalty 

exhausts me 

and I am waiting for the day 

I can close this door and finally mean it 

Oh, but the echo !

The echo is what drives girls like me 

                                                        mad with remembering.


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