There will always be another Spring,
– and it has hit me-
With buds on blossoming hold
Like the stories you build,
There is always more to be told.
And with each turnover we forget the last
For the petals look as fresh
Without mind of Springs gone past.
Call me your flower,
Your daisy, your rose,
Like all the others
Who will come and go
And I’ll call myself your lover,
As far as our story will fold;
(Even the freshest of springs turn old)
Yet I wont weep for the flowers that wither
For there will always be another.
‘If you are a nettle, then I am stung.’
These are undoubtedly the sweetest and most profound words that have ever been spoken to me. Although perhaps formed in an air of jest, I believe they tell and acutely accept the very nature of what it is to, and be in, love.
To love is to accept that humans have the capacity to inflict pain and are, in so many other ways, flawed.
It also encapsulates how love isn’t a bed of ever blooming flowers. It is, by definition, the extremity that incorporates the entire spectrum of feelings and emotions. Love can indeed sting but it can also blossom. It can grow in the quiet corners of our mind until it becomes impossible to ignore- releasing its unruly consequences- much like the spurs of nettles.
We had always stayed rooted in our home town. My wife and I did not rely upon recycled dreams of travelling the world in order to justify our existence. We enjoyed how our trees arched beyond the hills and how our neighbours never changed and how we always knew exactly what to expect. When there is no future there is no time and nothing to pass you by.
It was autumn when the Merriweathers moved in to the cottage next door. Those walls had been empty for a long while and I greatly enjoyed the company of no-one. I had little care of my own to meet them, though my wife was persistent that we should make a good first impression. That was another flaw with women; they required, almost insatiably, to be liked. When the moving vans and cardboard boxes diluted, we laundered the third best bottle of wine from our pantry and cheerfully arrived at our new neighbour’s new house. As the door opened, so did Mr. Merriweather’s stonking eyes as he observed the beauty of my wife. He was perplexed at our apparent offering of free booze until we unveiled the nature of our arrival. Our adjacent living situation was apparently a cause for celebration. He welcomed us in and we sat a few hours and drank from bubble-wrapped glasses. Of course he was a promising doctor of some sort; his wife was three kids down but not looking too bad on it. Luckily James, Lucy and Michael were spending that afternoon elsewhere but I did not doubt that I would soon be hearing their acquaintance from our unnervingly close radius. My wife could not bear children, but not in the same way that I couldn’t. Hence, my last name has remained, and will remain, my own.
I did not like Martin Merriweather. Nobody, especially that soon after moving into a new house, could present such a fine tray of cakes in the face of unexpected guests. If you have Mr. Kipling on standby, it can only be concluded that you think too highly of yourself or too low and Martin did not have the physique of a man who found comfort in confectioneries.
I blossomed in
Held swiftly by
Safe unto your bole.
Until the cold came
Like a curtain call
Veins turned dry.
You let me go in the fall.
This poem attempts to interpret a literal meaning of the term ‘family tree’, contrasting the strength of a family (or ‘blood’) bond by the fragility of nature and, in my case, the fragility of humankind.