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men ancholy

There was a little boy in my life.

He reached up to hold my hand. He was terrible at tying his shoe laces. His best friend at kinder was a girl named Alex. He played with matchbox cars.


We took a walk together down the bike track, close to the creek. He watched the trickles of water. Looked at the trees, the bark, the leaves, touched a washed rock, stared at a blade of grass.

He asked “How was this world made?”

He wasn’t interested in who, he was interested in how.

He was three. And he already knew there was a bigger picture.


If I close my eyes I can see him now. He hasn’t gone anywhere. But he’s not here anymore.

Tonight I feel off-balance. The axis of my earth has shifted. Slightly. Perhaps no one else notices. The changes have been gradual. Daily infinitesimal.


I now look up to see this little boy.

He puts his arm across me, protectively, before we cross the road.

He mows the lawn because he is saving for his first car. Or a play station three, whichever comes first.

He plays his guitar with his best mate at school. His best mate is Jase, an enthusiast of Queen and ACDC.

But he likes to play Sunshine of your love because he knows I like the sound of the first few bars.


He reminds me to take my vitamins. Every day.


He’s learning how to swear. But he never says anything rude in front of girls.

He’s learning how to cook. And he teaches me about renewable food sources.

He shows me the pumpkins he has planted. He demonstrates the male to female pollination process. He’s rigged the garden so the pumpkins have a soft place to form. So they don’t hang themselves and wither. The vines twist up the back fence and down past the tree he grew from pits we spat out three summers ago.


He needs new shoes. I push my toes into them, ready to squeeze, but I realise that they are roomy on me now.


I tell him that when he falls in love, he should find someone who doesn’t want to change him.

I tell him that when he falls in love, he should find someone whom he can respect.

He sighs and rolls his eyes. But his ears are paying attention.


I watch him when he’s sleeping. One hand squashed under chin and cheek. I’m staring. Trying, trying to find the little boy. He’s there somewhere. Enveloped in this man-child.

I understand now,

One cannot pine for something they have not lost.

But the axis of my earth has shifted.

And I’m standing in his shoes,

trying to find my feet.

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