Leaving you, looking back – Sue Proffitt

You occupy silent space

Leaving you, looking back

for Hazel

It started with an alien thing 

tracked in the deep space of your body,

sucking a kidney. Expelled with its prize,

but not before a tumour-stream of stars

metastasises, bright on the screen.

I’m imagining crystals you said, 

weeks later, shining inside.  

Sitting with you at home, 

spring sunlight shifts the goldfish

in the pond, nuzzles out-nosing bulbs. 

The air around you inhales ​    

and stops.

You occupy silent space  

whilst sounds surround you –

kitchen-business, radio, birds. 

Nights dislocate. You finger fear 

along the edge of hours –  stay with me.

Oh, but you travelled wildly those nights. 

Barbados, Hawaii, memory’s miasma

glittering, hijacking the dark.

In freefall now, in the half-light

of your hospital room the fragments 

of your still-embodied self unravel.

Help me stand you beg

but I can’t – your atrophied weight 

too great, too frail

instead I press my palms 

into your soles hard, 

pushing my guilt against you.

I am your ground now.

It isn’t enough.

Sue Proffitt

Did you enjoy this poem? Why not visit Maggie’s website at: Maggie’s Centre Nottingham to find out more about their exceptional work and/or make a donation. Do you have a poem you would like to submit to Voices? Feel free to do so by email at: voicespoetry@outlook.com or via the ‘Contact’ page on this site.

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