A Child's Weeping 

A Child's Weeping

“I think, deeper than memory, there is something indefinable which triggers us into a perspective and a hopeful leg-up towards recapturing the past. For example, I have had wide experiences over the years (many tears and laughter) but very little seems now to be directly accessible; yet upon an ‘event’, I can often nod sagely and recreate ‘memories’.”

They were the first words of the body which I was inspecting for possible habitation. Its selling-point.

‘Vacant possession’ I understood it to be, if one employed the old parlance of Real Estate … vacant, of course, except for the thought expressing itself in this way of speech. I decided to query the paradox. Yet, naturally, the party selling the body for habitation was the body itself. Unless houses or other similar properties had become autonomous, they had always needed a third party for any transactions to be viable.

Which reminds me – years ago, before I can even remember, I was indeed a house; my bricks a jigsaw of my boneless skeleton; my roof a hot tin one; my chimney a vestigial stand for aerial spokes and unwanted thoughts; my rooms the soft spaces of the heart … and the ghosts simply emotions that made me the me I was.

I screwed up my face in a surrogate scowl. I was rather bemused by the unspoken concepts that had seamlessly derived themselves from the initial pattern of speech. “Soft spaces in my heart?” I laughed. I had a big heart.

Laughter is never the laughter that laughed last. Torn from my throat like soot from a chimney.

Legged-up into the flue from the hearth’s grate, I blamed the old days for my predicament as a child sweep. Someone, though, was sweeping down the other way. Someone or something.

(Published 'Not Dead, But Dreaming' 2001)

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