You were with me during the days of white foundation and fake piercings
When I had the leather driving gloves and no car
And you had jet black hair longer than mine.
We counted the screams in songs to get to sleep
And terrorised Priory until it became our kingdom.
You left during the days of weather vanes
When the river rebelled its man-made banks
And swallowed the duck nests whole.
I went back every day to see if they had survived
And walked back disappointed and alone.
You were with me during the days of exploration
When a brick through the window granted us entrance
Because the clicking of the key
Told us the locks had been changed
Since the Malleys abandoned our new found home.
You left during the days of playground bullies
When I cried in the stalls of the girls’ bathroom
Every lunch because it was better than facing the crowd
That had gathered to watch
The possible humiliation of the girl who dared to change.
You were with me during the days of stupid ideas
There was ice under my skin
And tendrils of hair licked my face
But you gave me your jacket
And made me promise not to tell my parents.
You left during the days of grieving
When I became a scared little girl who had lost her hero
And had no one to look up to anymore.
Later you said you could never bear to see me cry
Which never made sense since you coaxed most of my tears.
You are back here nowadays, the days of university
Moving to Nottingham, swirling in nostalgia
I hate myself for being so predictable
And hate you for the same reason because as I sleep
Those hands on my hips aren’t mine.
And again you leave me
Your back faces me as you storm away like a rain cloud
The bruise on your face matches the bruise on my fist
The girl wised up and grew a backbone
I bet you never predicted this.
by Kimberly Jamison