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Moving Away by Penny Hewlett

I

I thought I was done with this task,
knifing through each circle of the onion
to get at the grief inside,
chopping the flesh of my loss
slice by slice, always another layer,
yet not stopping, not, because I knew
that somewhere the taste of memories
would be sweeter for the tears that I let fall,
that you would return without the bitterness
without the sting of it.

II

I thought I was done with this task
till in a new home the walls looked bare
because you had not seen them, the kitchen table
had just a four legged function where the world
was not vividly explored, the door less welcoming
because your hand had never pushed it wide,
this house did not know you,
and I missed you at its kernel and its core.

III

Of course, my memories moved with me,
wrapped in clear plastic,
like light seen through water,
shifting as it moves across the deep;
but they do not inhabit this house,
and you have moved further away,
shifting, with a gentle wave,
and the salt stings,
and the eyes water long after
the slicing is done.