Every Monday morning, I see you sitting on this bench by the birch tree.
Every Monday morning, a sharp knife scores my heart with fear, that you may have moved onto another being or have passed onto the earth where you would see the secrets of this life. You may find there the answers to everything, but you wouldn’t have the ability to voice what you see and I wouldn’t know if you are gone or if you have become the trace in all the leaves of the tree above me.
You hold the key to all the stories that I can not write. You hold the voice to all the memories I can not compose and you know more than you let me see. What if you leave before next Monday morning and you are not on that bench for me to see? Where would you take the laughter and the tears we shared? How would they transpire after you’d gone? Do you take them with you if you can?
Sometimes, I imagine meeting you as a young man. Sometimes, I imagine sitting with you on a Monday morning as a young mister. We’d smoke some cigarettes and share a bottle of cold white wine by the window sill, facing a field of cornflowers. Your now fluffy white hair would have been thick and full with streaks of blonde and auburn brown. But your voice would have still been deep, chirpy and sometimes sarcastic. Your nose would have been smaller and refined. Your azure eyes would have been opaque with kindness and the stubble on your face would sometimes glimmer in shades of ginger and ash. Sometimes, I wonder what it would have been like to be held by you.
As a young man, were you as bitter as you seem to be? Or were you more naive like me, opening your heart like doors to a room of many tales?
I worry every Monday morning that your wife would telephone and tell me in her shaken voice that you have gone. Or it could be your sturdy daughter who would apologise in vain for your abrupt departure. What would I do? Would I bawl with your wife too or would I try to act indifferent and strong like your daughter does, like you act for me?
Every Monday, on this bench, you ponder the tunes of my life, filling the shoes of a father, the one you do wish I would have but don’t and never did; the one you are but could never be.
Sometimes, I would watch you wonder and I wonder if you are wondering or if you are listening. But you do. I know you always do.
Once, I told you that I liked your beaten up old linen satchel because it resembles the one I had as a teenager. The one where I would ink boast my love for pop stars and super men, whom I hoped one day would find me but never has. As I told you that, I wondered if we are alike and mused on you once again as a young man when you danced with your wife and held her close to your milky lavender smelling face. Did you hold her hand and lock her shoulders into your arms as you roam the streets with a guitar on your back?
I wonder all the time about you. I hope that that Monday never comes and you see me as an old old lady.