Graves,Daffodils and Self-Confidence

He walks later on these cold, frosty mornings, which means that he walks in the daylight and can see things. He comes back with news and pictures of the graves of friends and acquaintances he’s found in the cemetery. All long gone. There are his golfing cronies, the parents of his sister’s first husband and those of his younger brother’s wife. It doesn’t seem to make him sad, it is more a rather pleasant continuum and one that gives him comfort. He tells tales of them. Some I’ve heard many times, others are new.

He came back with four bunches of daffodils, or was it three? We talked of seeing them and of the joy the first sightings would bring. I didn’t expect them so early. I’ve placed them round the flat, I even have some in here. He is kind. And generous.

I listen to people talking on the radio, so many speak with such confidence of what they know, offering it as truth. How can they be so sure? Do I envy such knowing? And then there was one voice that quavered. Here was a real person, an uncertain being. He was speaking about the song ‘The Look of Love’ and how he’d bought a record that had Mireille Mathieu singing it in French. He loved it and still had the LP. He’d given it to his mother when ‘she left us’, he said. Everything hung on that line. She left them, him. When she died she made sure he got it back. I still have it, he said. Oh, the ache of other people’s unspoken pain.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.