The Understanding Heart

Entry by: odgemob

19th April 2017
Here I sprawl
Stare at the plant on the windowsill
Dusty sunlight cupped in its white petals.
In my stomach the morning's excesses of caffeine mix with something else
Something unwanted and shameful and just past understanding
Something like lust
Something like love
For someone who is
Too much of a friend
To be shrunk to a snapshot of desire.
The awful realisation of it curdles with the coffee
Sends tendrils of electricity groaning dangerously to each edge of me.

It turns the feeble flower to an angel's wings.

In her new chair my grandmother slumbers in and out of the day.
Once, with a twinkle in her eye, she talked about heartbreak
Assured me with glee that one day soon I would "fall terribly in love"
But I
(politely laughing and curling my toes)
Hated the word and the way she said it
Hated the time that trapped me in the room with her
Hated the heat and the twirling wreath of memories and her smug prediction of my own future weakness.
I remained quiet and swore that I would stay forever upright.

Now, in this time, I think I would quite like to open my heart to hers
but it is too late
Her mind has eroded
Flashes of rain on an unpaved path
Washed away
Left behind
The beginnings of sentences
and in other places

I would like to hear her stories one more time
To know that what is raging inside me
May be ugly like a lightning-scorched tree stump
And crude like sharp-edged etchings on cave walls
But at least it was felt too by neat, sensible-shoed girls with 1940's hair
Who lived to laugh and to tell the tale.

Her heart is still understanding as it always was
But my words would roll like water from the duck's back of her mind
Before they even reached it
So I simply squeeze her fingers
(whilst inside me that timeless song screams and aches)
And ask her if she would like another sip of soup
"It's cream of asparagus. Quite nice, I think. Just one more sip before it gets cold?"