This rented flat
has charmed me, again and again
(though my heart still wants its 'own' place,
with no original packing materials
stored against a 'final' move.
Though I know that
nothing on this earth is final.
not the earth itself,
nor the people,
nor their houses).
Still charmed by the space,
the fresh air,
all still present, still appealing,
but now also peopled by memories
of the tiny figure
who hopped and skipped around,
calling out to the pigeons, and her parents
and us, fond grandparents, and the fans,
and her toys ( especially Doggie)
it remains, more or less,
as baby-proofed as it was
ten days ago.
Those artefacts that added
character, personality, and colour
to our home,
I'm aware of their absence,
each one of them that is missing,
hiding in safe spaces.
I think of them stored away, safely,
asking me, softly,
when will we come out again?
The lacquered Japanese music box,
the Turkish bowls,
the ceramic candle holders
the brown and blue glazed jugs
on the sideboard,
the ceraminc Ganesha from Pondicherry
almost abstract, a subtlety ...
The fat turtle from New Mexico
with horsehair burned patterns,
a gift from one son,
brought to us by the other
The antique, timeless clock,
the Dokra musicians,
the lost wax 'people tree',
the many bowls and candles
and photo frames,
I remember them all
and I miss them all,
but I cannot bring myself
to bring them out again.
Life goes on without them,
As it does without
the toddler who left us last week,
who will be a different person
when we meet her next.
We see her in the garden downstairs,
where, like a little puppy,
she held my finger and led me
to where ever she wanted to go.
Holding on to her so that she wouldn't
fall into the ornamental pond,
fascinated by her own reflection!
The swings, the slides, the merry-go-round,
Many little people there,
but not our little person,
Who sat on my lap
in the colony vegetable shop
and ate a (complimentary) banana
after walking what seems like a huge distance
for one of her size!
Who knows when we will see her again,
and how old will she be then,
How much older will we be?
And yet time cannot, and must not, be frozen.
We will delight in her as she grows,
our precious grandchild,
waiting for the day when Skype
and phones make sense to her,
until we meet again.
Our home still feels strange, though.
And so empty.......