The other night mum started painting the floorsagain.
Drawing awkward rainbows in constellations around her favourite sofa.
That tornado ofa two-seater that swallows her whole most nights and pretty much traps her there untildaytime arrives to haunt her.
Her eyelashes collapse into themselves justas her rainbows do the constellations both looking like they don't belong, her lips,are pale, lifeless pink, parted to promise that she'll stay with us, mum, why do you paintyour stars like this? And why does your day always start like this? And why do you nevercolour in your rainbows and since when did stars become where the rain goes and why onearth do you draw using chalk, mum? Why have you got so much faith in everything'sability to wash away? You circle your sofa with constellations asif being awake in this space is punishment enough.
And you walk and talk in these tonesemptier than the stars that you draw, you might as well remain asleep.
Because the biggestpart of you died when dad did.
You hold my face with fingers like knives and say I smilejust like dad did.
And I've got eyes just like dad did.
And I'm trying just like daddid, but mum, you've long lost the stairway into your mind, and I'm killing myself tryingto find a way into you.
I hold you together when we hug to stop your heart from drainingthrough your ribs, but sometimes I think maybe if it did leak a bit, add some colour to yourpaintings and some pigment to your skies, you would see enough colour and light to keepyou alive.
I wish that the moon would lend you his eyesfor the night for just one night, so you could be illuminated by the sun to see that yourdaughter still needs you here, to see that empty rainbows are bad colouring practisefor children, and that tornado of a two-seater makes for a very dangerous mattress.
Mum, you know I don't sleep much anymore.
Do you even notice the bags of fear that live underneath my eyes, because sometimes, youlook through me, instead of at me, as if I'm a photograph of the unreachable past, andI'm scared that one day this sofa's gonna swallow you for good, and these empty rainbowsand crying stars are gonna be the only photographs of you that I have left to remember.
And I'mhappy that you draw using chalk, mum, cos sometimes when you're asleep I scrub these floorsjust hoping and praying, that you wake up on the same planet as me instead of six hundredthousand feet above.
You said that you dream of falling, sometimes.
With what I think may have even been a smile.
Perhaps you choose to live in the stars sothat when you fall you get to enjoy a motion picture of happy memories before you land,back, in my arms, please mum, I aim to love you out of the numb, I just need – to climbback into you.
Cos mum I'm searching, for the happy times, amidst all the clouds finda silver line, I shoulda known that when I'm grown that you'd be needing me, but mum I need you tolet go and just believe in me, cos your hard times, your hard times will not follow you,and these dark times will not hollow you, you've got to get up, to get help, to get back.
Mummy get up,let's get help, to get back.
Cos these hard times, these hard times will notswallow you.