Old Friend

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

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