Pitter patter up that long road,
First to nursery then to primary.
Orange evenings and golden dogs.
Stretching my little arms through the fence to pick the blackberries.
Energy saving, we lived in near darkness,
Living apart at opposite ends.
Dry dinners, birthdays and valentines.
Sisterly hugs against the emptying feeling.
Crying for the love I thought only came in a two-parent household.
Living only partly, surviving out of holdalls.
Two versions of life progressing in parallel,
Always colliding in cramped corridors before school.
Strangers who were once family members I pass in town.
Baby photos have become no-man’s land.
Pain that is 10 years deep.
Illustration by Rosa Stevens.