It seems there is a different ‘hardest thing’ every day.
Today it was that you didn’t remember that we really had fun last night
but sometimes it’s that you don’t remember you rang just before, and just before that, and before that,
first thing this morning,
and asked the same question
to which i gave the same answer I gave yesterday,
and i will next time you call, too.
The other day it was that you didn’t remember that you loved cappuccinos
or that salmon was always your favourite
and that you would never have ordered pasta
[though i loved that while we were eating,
you whispered to me that you’ll always vote labour,
till you die.
‘Anyone but that Tony Abbott’, you said again, wrinkling your nose with familiar distaste]
Sometimes it’s that you don’t remember your son, the one who died all those years ago,
in the car accident
[yes, that was him, yes, it was terrible]
and your grief becomes raw again
because it’s brand new, every day.
Sometimes the hardest thing is that look on your face
when you’re confused
and trying so hard not to let on
and when you craft a memory from threads that were never meant to be sewn together
and declare adamantly that this is truth
from which nothing can detract or divert you,
and we find ourselves defending things that would be indefensible
except they never happened to begin with.
And sometimes you make a joke
that’s so sharp
and so quick
it makes us laugh with relief and surprise
as much as humour
‘you’re still there’