To the Year of Returning

A toast to 2017, the year of Returning.

A toast to Melinda, 
whose death sent shockwaves through my present and returned me - 
to summers at Starrigan; and
every second Saturday; and
staying far too late; and
nights around our family dinner table; and
an airport photoshoot; and
a tearful declaration of your imprint on my life.
To January 1st, 2017, 
when we rang in your last New Year - together. 

A toast to London,
where I've dreamed of returning since the moment I left.
Everything, everything reminded me of that first summer - 
cobblestones and clocks and crowds, and
bridges and books and Bank, and
trains and tea and the theatre, and
delights, dreams, desires.
To the city where I first left my heart a decade ago, 
and returned to tuck it in; safe among aged streets 
until it calls me home again.

A toast to stories,
whose beloved prose I've revisited time and time again.
To the characters and worlds I've lived in many times before - 
the boy who lived; and
Barnum and Skip; and
heavy boots, and
carrots.
I am a vessel for their narratives, their themes, their lessons.
To the pages that know me, miss me, remember me
and welcome me home.

A toast to the people,
whose friendship has waited until it was most needed - 
now - 
to unfurl itself from the stillness.
The beautiful people who wax and
wane, and
always pick up where we left off.  
To a universe who fans the flames when a soul cries out
for connection. 

A toast to home,
which is completely different and exactly the same.
The histories of my Rock beckon me "come back" -
to the cruel winds and wet winters; and 
the good humour and unmatched generosity; and
family dinners and babies' steps; and
the Other Life I am not living.
To the city and people who loved me first,
I will come ashore.

Comments

Jacquie Harnett said…
A toast to your poem! Isn't it funny how the words direct us and our thoughts and not the other way around? Great poem and a full year for you. Happy Christmas to you and a wonderful 2018
Jacquie
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