Wednesday, 31 October 2007



Snow spattered, unseen, against the steamy glass
As the train rattled out of the station
It was a fairly crowded train, but not full
With weary shoppers, shopping bags bursting
And commuting workers the weeks work done
Journeying homeward at the dark days end
A cheerful crowd though
Pleased with themselves bright faced and hearty
Full of seasonal cheer anticipating the holiday
Seemingly oblivious to the drafty carriage
I sat alone and felt lifted by the quiet jolliness
Contemplating the collective countenance
Of the self satisfied passengers
Then she appeared and I was lifted higher
There she was larger than life vivacious and self assured
Covered with snowflakes and laughing to herself
My snow angel, with snow covering her like sugar on a doughnut
Wrapped up against the cold in a woolen hat and coat
And a long knitted scarf draped about her neck
She shook her head and her light brown hair danced about her shoulders
And the snowflakes melted away from her soft curls
There was a rosy redness on her cheeks
Almost matching the hue of her coat
Either from the cold winter evening or a liberal taste of Christmas spirit
A little of both probably
She made her way down the train between the seats
Leaving wet snowflakes in her wake
Full length coat swishing side to side
She moved almost gracelessly, which suited her well
As she tottered a little in her high boots
Perhaps due to the lurching motion of the train
Or the Christmas punch and eggnog
She was still laughing softly to herself which also suited so well
And then she saw me, and her eyes lit up like beacons
Those wonderful sparking laughing eyes
She stopped and stood momentarily open mouthed
Then her smile illuminated the carriage
My heart soared at the sight of her
I returned her smile and she flushed a little deeper red
It had been almost a year since I last saw her
My lovely lost love, Linda
I had locked all my feelings away but now they were back
Like a door had opened in my heart and they all rushed out
And I missed her so much I didn’t know just how much till that moment
We were never lovers, only ever friends
But very special friends very close friends though no more
We laughed a lot together, shared confidences
Best friends but no more than that,
Though I wanted more, so much more
But I didn’t want to lose what we had so I said nothing
I loved her so much, but she was not free for me to love
And Linda was not free to love me even if she wanted
So I contented myself with our special friendship
My unrequited love remained so
If that was all then better that than nothing
I was happy to love her unconditionally
Then circumstances changed, my father died
I had to move away and I didn’t see her again, until now
Now she was in front of me, my angel, larger than life
Smiling, blushing, laughing and so lovely
I stood up and smiled at her again
She threw herself at me and she hugged me so tight
I smelled her hair as I held her and was intoxicated by her scent
All the old feelings flooded back over whelming me
I had often dreamt of being reunited with her
But never in my wildest dreams had I expect such a reaction
Could it be my love was not unrequited?
We sat down on the lumpy seats in the rattling carriage
And were completely alone
We sat looking at each other not wanting to lose sight of one another
In case the spell were broken
She removed a glove and put her hand on mine
As if testing it was not a dream then she slipped her hand into mine
Her delicate fingers so small in my grasp
For the remainder of the journey we reveled in each other’s company
We caught up with the lost months filling in the gaps
Still oblivious to our companions
It was as if we had never been apart
Then the train shook to a halt as all too soon we had arrived
Our fellow travelers rushed off to their Christmases
Reluctantly we left our seats and disembarked arm in arm
Then hand in hand we walked slowly along the platform
Still talking and laughing and then out onto the street
Where the shops were now closing and the town was relatively quiet
From one pub Noddy Holder screamed “it’s Christmas” to the world
Only the pubs and restaurants seemed to hold any attraction to most
But we joined a small group gathered round the Salvation Army band
And joined in with the carol singing in the town square
Before strolling towards the taxi stand
As the snow again fell onto Linda’s soft curls
We took our place in the queue of travelers eager to be home
I was eager to be nowhere else but with her
I shuffled along for the last few steps like a sulky schoolboy
Smiling, Linda turned to face me and kissed me gently on the lips
Such a warm sensitive and tender kiss
When our lips parted she smiled at me coyly
And flushed a deep shade of pink
Then I kissed a snowflake off her nose
Cupping her flushed cheek in my palm I slid my fingers beneath her hair
Caressing the soft downy hair on her nape
And pulled her sweet lips to mine and returned her kiss
Her arms enveloped me holding me so close, so tightly
Not wanting to let go, not wanting to lose what we had found
Not wanting to lose me again
We stood locked in our embrace as the snow fell softly on the scene
She pulled away for a moment then buried her face in my neck
And spoke “I’ve missed you so much, I’ve missed your love for me”
I had waited so long for this moment waited so long to here those words
To hear my love returned and then we kissed again
Cabs arrived and departed through the slush
The queue around us just kept moving as if unaware of our love
After a while we moved from the queue sat on a bench and talked
My love was not unrequited after all she felt the same for me
She had always done so yet still she was not free
She was torn between the two of us
Torn between the comfortable familiarity for a good man
A loyal and dependable man, safety
And the passion she felt for a soul mate
It wasn’t fair on him he hadn’t done anything wrong
I had been on the receiving end of that kind of pain
And I found myself unable to inflict it onto another
So our love had to be a forbidden one
Best friends no more, I wanted more, so much more
And could not content myself with a special friendship
Now I knew my love was not unrequited
There was no going back, now Pandora’s Box had been opened
But at least now I knew she loved me
With the same depth as I loved her
We walked back to the taxi rank and kissed again in the snow
All too soon she got into a taxi
And through the winter wonderland departed taking my love with her
With her palm pressed against the glass she craned her neck to keep sight of me
Through the snow spattered window until the very last moment
Till the cab had gone out of sight
She was gone from my arms, gone from my view, gone from my life
But a Christmas happening had changed my life forever
A brief encounter, fleeting, here and then gone
Her scent still in my nostrils, the taste of joy on my lips
My soul mate gone forever, yet forever in my memory, forever in my heart
I would never see her again and moved away in the New Year
Making a life elsewhere but I never forgot her
And when on a winter’s night I hear the “Sally army” play
Or when the snow falls during Christmas time
Or I feel a snowflake on my skin
I feel her small hand in mine and then she is once again in my arms
And I smell her soft brown hair and the taste of her is on my lips
I hear her say “I love you” and she is mine forever


I found myself stranded in a strange town
With less than a week to go before Christmas
Stranded two hundred miles from home
With a seriously ill car in the garage
And a lack of will to contemplate train travel
In truth I was in no hurry to return home
To the empty soulless house that once was home
But now held no comfort for me
My wife of twenty five years had died a year before
Finally loosing her battle with cancer
And my children were all grown up now
With homes and families of their own
The house would be full at Christmas
Full of noise and hustle and bustle,
And the usual mix of love, laughter and tears
But for now it was cold and empty
So I booked into a hotel for the weekend
And I would drive home on Monday
So finding myself in a strange town
Just a few days before Christmas
And with more than a little time to kill
I decided I could fill part of my day
By doing some last minute Christmas shopping
As I stepped out of the Hotel I shivered
The day was cold, grey and damp
And clouds scudded across the December sky
It was the kind of day that chilled you to the bone
I made my way towards the high street
It was only a five minute walk
The receptionist assured me with a smile
As she jotted down some brief directions
In an effort to warm myself up
I walked briskly following her directions
Down the narrow almost Dickensian lanes and ally ways
Passing picturesque Victorian and Tudor buildings, well mock Tudor
As I went and it was indeed five minutes when I emerged
Onto the busy cobbled pedestrianised high street
It was a curious mixture of ancient and modern
At one end of the street a Norman church was visible
And at the other was what appeared to be a municipal building
With rather pretentious Georgian columns
There was still evidence of a row of Edwardian shop fronts
But much of the street was modern
With a little too much sixties influence to be easy on the eye
The street was criss-crossed along the full length
With festive lights and decorations
Which did there best to brighten the scene
I decided to familiarize my self with what the town had to offer
In the way of shops so I turned left and joined the throng of shoppers
Faces gloomy to match the weather
And headed towards the Georgian pillared building
This turned out to be the public library
As I dodged between the Christmas Lemmings
I made a mental note of shops I would return to
My progress was hampered by erratic shoppers
Who moved it appeared independently to any logic
Some seemed to zigzag everywhere and very few possessed
The ability to walk in a straight line for more than a few paces
And others would take a few steps then stop for no apparent reason
Then after a few moments pause carry on normally in the same direction
The sound of cheery Christmas songs and carols
Could be heard from every shop I passed
Though the cheeriness of the music
Was clearly not reflected on the faces
Of the shoppers going in and out of them
As I passed one shop Noddy Holder screamed “it’s Christmas”
Just in case any of the reluctant shoppers were in any doubt
When I reached the other end of the high street
Where the church stood there was a little square
Which I wasn’t able to see before
In the centre of which was the war memorial
And to its left was a magnificent Christmas tree
Covered in baubles and adorned by a beautiful angel
Assembled around the tree was the Salvation Army band
I took a few moments to admire the tree and listen to the band
And I was taken back to a distant time and place
The clock chimed and I was brought back to the present
I took a few more moments while I decided on my first port of call
Not realizing just how important a decision it was
I decided on Woolworths, always a favorite of mine at Christmas
But it also happened to be the closest
So I walked towards the store and pushed open the door
As I entered I paused to hold the door open for a woman coming the other way
I waited as she put her purse away into a huge handbag
And I wondered what I would get for my trouble
I had found the older I got the less women appreciated courtesy
The simple act of holding open a door could provoke a range of responses
A smile, a thank you, a nod, a sneer, a tut or a colorful mouth full of abuse
And you couldn’t always tell who was going to do what
When she had finished fiddling and securing her bag
She moved to step through the open door
As she passed me she looked up said “Thank you” and smiled broadly
And then she stopped as I returned her smile and then I just stood there
Both of us stood motionless as slowly the recognition set in
We both stood there dumbstruck not believing our eyes
I’m not sure how long for but long enough for a queue to form behind each of us
We both blushed and excused ourselves
And stepped out onto the street away from the door
Neither of us knew what to say I couldn’t believe it was Linda
Who I last saw 30 years before being driven off in a taxi
Disappearing off through the snow
With her palm pressed against the glass her neck craned to keep sight of me
And here she stood before me as beautiful as ever she was
The soft curls of her brown hair still danced on her shoulders
Yet with fine strands of silver threaded thru it
Her smile was still able to melt my heart even after all those years
Her smiling eyes still had the same sparkle
The years had been kind to her and too me much less so
I was still fumbling for the words to say as I studied her
When she reached up and hugged my neck
Kissing my cheek at the same time
And spoke softly in my ear “Paul, Is it really you?”
I simply said yes and we stood in that long comfortable embrace
I don’t know how long we stood there not wanting to let go
Then as she relaxed her grip and I kissed her forehead
“It’s so good too see you” I said feebly
She put her head on my chest, squeezed me and sighed
Then released her grip and pulled away slightly
And put her hand up to my cheek and caressed my grey beard
“Do you have time for coffee”? She said almost pleadingly
I said of course and she put her arm through mine and led me across the high street
Asking quick fire questions as we went
And I explained about my car breaking down
And that I was staying at the Cromwell hotel
She said “oh really” and “oh dear” delighting in my misfortune
We sat on a large comfortable sofa in Starbucks
And told the tales of our lives spent apart
Throughout I looked at her with adoring eyes
Pinching myself expecting to awake from a dream
As I had done so very may times before
I told her about my wife and children
She told me of her marriage and subsequent divorce
The good man I gave her up for turned out to be a violent drunk
She had no children which although unsaid was clearly a regret
With the aid of several cups of coffee we managed to talk away the entire morning
I suggested we might spend the day together
And have dinner together at the hotel
She accepted the invitation to dinner with a delightful smile
Then she looked at her watch and suddenly jumped up
“Look at the time, I have to go” she flustered
She said she had a prior commitment
“Lunch with mum” she said rather unconvincingly
She said it was something she couldn’t get out of
As I helped her back into her coat the smell of her hair
Evoked memories of our past embraces
She fished out her mobile phone as we left the coffee shop
From her huge handbag and we exchanged phone numbers
And we firmed up the details for the evening
Then with a hug and a kiss she was off
I stood and watched her walk away her coat tails swishing behind her
She stopped briefly and turned to give me a smile and a wave
Then with the phone to her ear she hurried off again talking animatedly
I stood watching until she disappeared from sight
Then I went back to my Christmas shopping
And treated myself to a new shirt for the evening
I bought the gifts I was looking for and paper, tags, cards etc
And with all my shopping complete I returned to the hotel for lunch
The rest of the day seemed intolerably long
In an effort to kill some time I went for a swim
Used the gym, went for a walk
I got a haircut even though I didn’t need one
I even wrapped the Christmas presents I had bought
But the time passed so interminably slowly
I walked into the hotel bar at 7 o’clock an hour early
Partly for some Dutch courage and in part because I had run out of things to do
I ordered a drink and then sat at the bar
Even though I wasn’t expecting her until eight
Every time the door opened I turned to look for her
And when it wasn’t her self doubt crept in
And with every false alarm the doubts got worse
What if she doesn’t come?
What if she changed her mind?
What if she never intended to come?
What if? What if? What if?
Then at a quarter to the hour the door opened and there she was
There she stood wearing a simple black knee length dress
Black tights or stockings and four-inch stiletto shoes
Her legs as shapely as I remembered them
And in one hand she held a black leather clutch bag
Her face looked a little anxious until I stood up
And then it lit up in the most radiant smile
Then she walked towards me
Almost tottering on her heels and she laughed
I took her hand as she climbed onto a stool
And kissed her cheek the fragrance of her perfume was intoxicating
Going straight to my head like a strong spirit
The combination of her scent and my desire for her almost made me swoon
I ordered her a drink and we nervously made small talk
Like two strangers on a blind date
Until the waitress led us through to the restaurant
Once we were seated at our table
I asked her how her lunch with mum went
And she blushed the deepest red
She told me the lunch date was a little white lie
Because she needed the afternoon to get ready
And the animated phone call was to her sister
To rally the troops to get her presentable
We both laughed and any awkwardness was gone
We talked with such an easy familiarity
As if her departing taxi had only been a week ago
By the time we had finished our coffee the restaurant was empty
Except for us and a weary waitress waiting to clear our table
The evening seemed to have passed in the blink of an eye
And had all too soon come to an end
We got up and made our apologies
Linda went through the door to the ladies and I settled the bill
I said good night and had made my apologies again
Then went in search of Linda through the same door she had used
I found her standing by the Christmas tree
She had retrieved her coat and scarf from the cloakroom
Which were draped over one arm her bag was in her hand
Linda stood with her back to me gazing out of the window
She could see my reflection in the glass and smiled
I gasped at the beauty of her and pinched myself again
I wanted to kiss her so much but I was afraid
Afraid to break the magic of that special kiss
That perfect moment when we kissed in the snow
All those years ago when I let her slip from my grasp
For 30 years I had revered that moment
Relived it whenever I felt a snowflake on my skin
Or stood in a taxi queue on a winters night
Or when I hear the Salvation Army play
Or when the snow falls during Christmas time
For 30 years I had wanted to be back there holding her in the snow
And here I stood a few steps away and I was hesitant
As if sensing my turmoil she turned away from the window
And I took those few steps to face her
We stood for a few moments just looking at each other
Then she smiled her most heart melting smile
As she caressed my cheek then she pulled me to her
And kissed me gently on the lips, a tender and sensitive kiss
When our lips met electricity ran down my spine
And it was as if we were young again
Our lips parted for a second then met again
And her kiss became more intense, more passionate
Her coat, scarf and bag fell to the floor as our arms enveloped each other
We stood locked in our passionate embrace as the tree lights twinkled
Then she pulled away for a moment before burying her face in my neck
And spoke softly in my ear “you see that was as good as the first time”
How could I have doubted it would not be perfect?
I slid my fingers beneath her hair caressing her nape
And gently turned her head so I could kiss her sweet lips again
This time when we disengaged she put her head on my chest
Still holding on to me so tightly
I kissed the top of her head and smelled her hair
I didn’t want to let her go, and then I said “please stay”
“I can’t watch you disappear from my life in another taxi”
She lifted her head and looked at me and said
“I’m not letting you go again, not now not ever”
Then she smiled at me coyly and blushed like a virgin
And buried her face in my chest again
Then she scooped up her coat, scarf and bag from the floor
Took my hand and we walked in silence to my room
Outside the room she looked into my eyes and kissed my mouth
Then I opened the door and let her walk inside
She dropped her coat and bag onto a chair and turned to face me
Reached up and wrapped her arms around my neck
And whispered in my ear “I never stopped loving you”
My arms enfolded her and pulled her to me tightly
Then we kissed at first soft and tender then more urgently
And I began to un-wrap my most special Christmas gift
Wrapped in lace and silk instead of paper and ribbon
Caressing her body from neck to Lacy stocking top
And our love was at last made absolute
When our act of love was complete and our dreams realized
We lay holding each other in the afterglow
Silently content until we drifted off to sleep
I awoke to find her stood silhouetted against the window
Gazing out wearing my shirt to cover her nakedness
She turned her head to me and said “it’s snowing”
I slipped out of bed joined her at the window
Standing behind her and enveloping her in my arms
We watched as the snow settled on the courtyard
She hugged my arms and said “How perfect is that”?
Both of us thinking back to the last time we enjoyed the snowfall together
We stood for a few minutes taking in the snowy scene
Then she inclined her head so I could kiss her
When my hands moved from her soft belly and cupped her breasts
She led me back to the bed and we made love again
I woke early and lay in the half light and held Linda’s sleeping form in my arms
As I lay there I thought how good the fates had been to us
If my car hadn’t broken down, and had I not rejected the idea of taking the train
I would not have been shopping on that cold grey morning
I thought about the moments I spent admiring that tree in the square
And listening to the Salvation Army band
And what thought processes made me do what I did
Was it destiny that I chose Woolworths at that very moment or just blind luck?
All I knew was that 24 hours before my life had been so empty
And now it was full and I was finally with my soul mate
Linda was in my life at last and I wanted her never to leave it again
But if fate decreed that this one special night
Was all we could have I would have to be content


Christmas Eve

It was Christmas Eve and the house was decorated for the season
A large fresh cut tree stood in the corner and perfumed the room
Adorned by a myriad of assorted baubles and lights
Christmas cards of all shapes and sizes adorned every surface
And more hung on bright red and green ribbons from the picture rails
Bright colored Christmas garlands hung gaily criss-crossing the sealing
While outside through a break in the dark clouds
A shaft of week winter sunlight shone through the window
Reflecting off the garlands and painting random patterns on the walls
I sat watching TV in my favorite armchair in the front room
Of the house I shared with my wife and soul mate Linda
The woman I loved more then life itself
Both of us had been married before but Linda was the love of my life
We had spent 30 years apart before we found each other again
When our own Christmas miracle happened 20 years ago
And we have had 20 years of incredible happiness together
We had made good use of the years we had together
To make up for the lost time we were apart
And together we had had the fullest of lives
Christmas had always had particular significance for us
It was our favorite time of year and had always been so
Our most meaningful moments together happened at Christmas time
Finding love together, losing each other, finding each other, marrying each other
That’s why I called her Christmas Linda
We did Christmas big and we relished every moment
We would pack away all the ornaments and pictures
Replacing them with festive decorations we had collected over the years
There would be a houseful on Christmas day and Boxing Day
Sharing the celebration with family and friends
Then we would fly off to the sun for a few weeks
Neither of us could abide the New Years holiday
So we took ourselves away to enjoy each others company
But this year the season held no joy for me
Even James Stewart in “It’s a wonderful life” could not lift my spirits
And the reason for my gloomy disposition
Lay in the next room, where the dining table used to stand
Where we had so many wonderful Christmas dinners
The room full of the happy chatter of good company
The table heaving under the weight of Christmas fare
But in its place now stood a stark and clinical a hospital bed
And laying upon it the most precious thing in my life, Linda
Surrounded by all the paraphernalia of terminal illness
Her once vibrant body riddled with inoperable tumors
Their evil spread consuming her from within
The cancer was to far advanced when it was discovered
And she refused what little treatment there was on offer
She also stubbornly refused to die in hospital or a hospice
Saying she wished to die in our home where she had known such happiness
How could I refuse her that simple wish?
We had a private nurse who sat with her at night and I tended her by day
And I watched her dieing by inches every single day
The cruelest punishment for being so happy
My first wife was taken by cancer
And that was hard enough to bare
It’s always so hard when someone you love suffers
But as much as I loved my first wife and as hard as it was to watch her die
It was nothing compared to the intolerable despair I felt losing Linda
She was not only my wife she was my love, my life,
My soul mate, she was the one
I would sit with her and read to her
Sometimes Dickens, Stephen King or Tom Sharpe
Depending on her frame of mind
On her brighter days she would have me tell her jokes
She always said I was the only one who could make her laugh
Her brown hair with its soft curls had long since turned silver
And the sparkle was only rarely present in her eyes
The laughter that used to play around them replaced by pain
And it was on the morning of that Christmas Eve
When she told me what she wanted for Christmas
She was always at her best in the morning
But on that morning she was having a good day
After she had eaten breakfast she asked me to pass her jewelry box
It was the very first Christmas gift I gave her
She often told me it was her most precious possession, after me
As I handed it to her she smiled and just for a second
There was a glimpse of her loveliness shinning through the pain
She patted the bed and bad me sit next to her
I sat on the bed next to her and she took my hand
“I have to say this to you today because I’m having a good day and
I don’t know how many good days I’ve got left”
I protested that she was being silly, she squeezed my hand
Then gave me a look which said that I knew she wasn’t
She opened her jewelry box and from a draw within
Took out a neatly folded handkerchief which she carefully unfolded
And inside were a dozen capsules containing her medication
She looked at me with her soulful eyes pleading with me
As the realization of what she was asking sank in I shook my head
On her good days she had salted away some of her medication
Until she now had enough to hasten the end
She squeezed my hand again and said “Please do this for me”
She didn’t want me to do it there and then
She just wanted me to agree to do it when the time came
But the time would be very soon
“It’s the only gift you can give me this Christmas”
She looked in to my eyes and said
“I love you more than anything in the world
And I know with all my heart that you love me”
I could say nothing as tears welled up in my eyes
“Please do this thing for me” she pleaded
My heart was breaking at the choice I must make
Let her suffer or end her suffering and kill her
I said “I just can’t do it” and I got up and left the room
She didn’t call after me she knew I would be back
With tears streaming down my face I grabbed my coat
And went out the door and went for a walk
The day was cold, grey and damp
And clouds scudded across the December sky
Any hint of the promised sunny intervals was not in evidence
It was the kind of day that chilled you to the bone
But I didn’t feel it at all I just felt numb
You had to be alive to feel the cold and I was dieing inside
I walked for miles under the grey skies
Along the woodland paths we used to walk together
My mind in turmoil my eyes red with tears
If I did what she wanted I would lose her forever
The loss of her would be devastating
But not to let her go would just be selfish
My head was spinning I didn’t know which way to turn
Images of the happy moments together swam in and out of focus
Then as I walked into a clearing in the woods
Where once we had made love on a sultry afternoon
There was a sudden break in the clouds
And the woods were bathed in winter sunshine
And all at once I knew what I must do
When I returned to the house I went straight to her bedside
She was sleeping; so I sat on the chair beside her bed
And rested my head on the bed beside her
Then I felt her hand gently stroking my hair
I sat up and her hand moved to my cheek
I took it in my own and kissed it softly and said
“I’ll do what ever you want me to do”

New Years Eve

Christmas had past and I was glad of it
It was without doubt the worst Christmas of my life
Full of tears and sadness instead of happiness and laughter
There was no wondrous Christmas feast
No table laden with Christmas delights
No hearty laughter or light hearted banter
Just an endless stream of visitors, friends and family
As cheery as was possible, putting on a brave face
All coming with forced smiles to bring the seasons greetings
But all leaving with tears knowing she would not see the spring
I know I sound ungrateful and I’m not really
But every visit ate into the precious time Linda and I had left
I knew how important it was to Linda to see everyone
Even the doctor called in to make sure she was comfortable
And in between visits I would sit watching the needles dropping from the tree
As if each dropping needle symbolized Linda’s plight
And as I sat alone in my favorite armchair on New Years Eve
Staring at the pine needles scattered beneath the tree
I tried to come to terms with the fact that Linda would die with the old year
Since Christmas Eve when she made her request
Linda had been in good spirits
She had seen everyone in the world that mattered to her
And said all the things she needed to say
So Linda had decided that morning that enough was enough
I tried to remain cheerful for her but she could see through it
“I know you’re hurting too” she said the pain etched in her face
And with that we made our plans for our last day together
I phoned the nurse telling her she should have the night off
To enjoy the celebrations with her family
She was very grateful and accepted my explanation without question
I filled the room with lighted candles and in the flickering light
Linda and I spent the evening together looking at photographs
And reliving the great times of our life together
We played the music that formed the soundtrack of our lives
Then an hour before midnight she handed me the folded handkerchief
I opened it and inside were now close to twenty capsules
One by one I broke them open emptying the contents into a wine glass
I filled the glass with Port and gave it a stir
And I put the glass on the bedside table before sitting on the bed
Then I took her hand and kissed it and lent forward and kissed her mouth
I started to say good bye but she put her hand to my mouth
Then I reached over and picked up the glass
And held it up to her lips and she took a drink
Then a little more and a little more until the glass was empty
I wiped her mouth with the hanky and she burped
And she laughed that wonderful laugh
The candles sputtered and the flames flickered
Then she said “I love you so very much” squeezing my hand
“I love you too” I said as I sat holding her hand in mine
And then we just sat in silence looking at each other until her eyes closed
The Village clock began chiming the hour
Her hand went limp and her breathing became shallow
And then all the pain in her face was suddenly gone
The clock chimed twelve marking the passing of the old year
And also unknowingly marked Linda’s passing
I don’t know how long I sat there holding her dead hand
With the tears streaming down my face
But as I sat there I knew what had to be done
I poured myself a large whisky and sat in my favorite armchair
Where I wrote a long letter explaining what I had done
And what I was about to do
With the letter written I put it into an envelope
And placed it on the mantelpiece where it would be easily found
Then I drank my whisky and reached into my pocket
And removed the contents placing them on my lap
Then I filled the syringe with the insulin I had stolen from the doctor’s bag
And injected myself with the full syringe
And as my eyes grew heavy I could feel Linda’s hand on my shoulder
And felt her fingers in my hair as I drifted into a coma
And she whispered “I love you” in my ear as my eyes closed
When my eyes opened again I couldn’t believe what I saw
It was a place that was familiar to me and it was snowing
And the street was full of happy smiling people
And there amongst them was Linda larger than life, vivacious and self assured
Covered with snowflakes and laughing
My snow angel, my Christmas Linda
With snow covering her like sugar on a doughnut
Wrapped up against the cold in a woolen hat and coat
And a long knitted scarf draped about her neck
She shook her head and her light brown hair danced about her shoulders
And the snowflakes fell away from her soft curls
Only to be replaced by fresh ones
There was a rosy redness on her cheeks and she was young again
We were both young again and we had gone back 50 years
She threw herself at me and hugged me tightly
I smelled her hair as I held her and was intoxicated by her scent
We were stood at the taxi stand and snow fell onto Linda’s soft curls
We took our place in the queue and we kissed
All too soon a taxi arrived but this time we both got in
And through the winter wonderland we departed this time never to be apart again