when did you start loving me?
can you pinpoint the exact day
and time, the particular thing I
did to make you look at me
differently? I want to know
exactly what it felt like then,
exactly what it feels like now
that it is familiar, now that it
is normal. Show me how you
see me and we will compare
notes – reader interpretation
versus authorial intent.
I’ve never known brotherly love.
I didn’t grow up fighting with siblings
or learning to ride a bike down my
street with a mocking grin and a
steady hand at my side. I grew up
with the knowledge that there was a
gaping hole where a boy should have been.
Where my big brother would have been.
the boys who are like big brothers to me
– even the younger ones –
are always working to fill the gap.
The boy who said I could call him at 3am
if I needed to. The same boy who dreamt
I died and called me to make sure it
The boy who can always tell if I’m not okay
and always checks on me. The boy who
supports my writing and encourages me.
The boy who goes out to eat with me and
listens. The boy who I always laugh with.
The boy who was my inseparable friend
all the way through school – Sonic,
Animorphs, Power Rangers, marbles.
The fiercest loyalty on the playground.
The boys who laugh with me even when
my jokes are terrible. The boys who make
me feel like I belong somewhere, like I’m
important. The boys who look after me
and let me support them, too.
The boys who will always matter.
The stormy bank holiday when
plans fell through so it was
Scrabble and a fry up, lazy Saturday
afternoon with my legs outstretched
and your half of the sofa reclined, your
heartbeat reverberating through the
backs of my knees as you snored and I
watched easy tv
They are not all wonderful years,
but they are years, for sure,
years that overrule minutes and days, years
enhanced by whirls and swirls of colour
induced by Jack and coke, a joke
or two, puns and double entendres,
lights residing alongside tunnels,
stars and stripes and banners and my silly
ideas, my far-flung dreams, contrasted by
your grounding foundations so I’m a flag waving
at the end of a pole instead of a loose cannon
shooting through the shepherd’s delight,
uncontrollable like nothing I’ve ever seen
before – I’m staring back at myself like
in a hall of mirrors at the funfair. I recognise
myself but at the same time I really don’t.
Obstacles aren’t so bad; they at least make us
pause for breath before continuing on to the
next year and the next.
Written on Friday 28th November, 2014 at 22:15
IHadCancer.com Best Cancer Blog Award Winner 2016, Runner-up 2017