When I was young my brother taught me all the places to hide so as to avoid the wrath of our mum. She once came in from work and on seeing that there was washing up still needing doing she stood at the back door and smashed plate after plate after bowl. The cupboards were bare. My brother is just a year older than me, we have the same blue eyes and pale skin and soft temperament. He taught me to shimmy up between the ‘Turkish’ garage and ours, ‘don’t worry about the blackberry thorns’, he said as he trampled them down. ‘Just shimmy up’, he said. Climbing up was easy, we would lay on the roof and watch planes snaking through deep blue skies. She never could reach us up there and she soon forgot what it was she had been planning to punish me for. I missed many a dinner in those days, often waiting until after dark when i was alone, before I let the tears fall as the realisation hit, he had taught me to get up but never how to get down again. These were the days when I forgot my childhood and aged beyond my years. Gaining a wisdom that would become the essence of my soul.
Karen Hayward ©2016