The last run

by little red pen

You slipped away tonight, Granny, waited till we weren’t watching, then took your last breath. I wanted to be with you, have held you in my heart through these past weeks, but I knew you wanted to make your own way, a small cat curled in the dark.

I found you a poem though. My friend Maria wrote it. You’d like her; she makes a good cup of tea. So, rest easy now. I will miss you always.


The last run

Up the hill behind our house.
He’d hardly been talking,
too polite and quiet,
like he had to conserve energy,
take short shallow breaths —
like he was old.

Then he woke me one morning
threw my running shoes on to the bed,
stood shining
in the doorway,
dressed already
brother again.

He was faster.
In the wind ahead of me
his white T-shirt billowed
round like a lantern.
The street lights flicked off
as we passed them.
The sound of our shoes
like a song.

I could almost smell jasmine.
I could almost smell snow.

He reached the top, where you
could see clear over the other side,
and turned to me smiling,
Meggie, run faster, I was heaving,
heavy as a horse. Quick, he said
as if it were a gift he was giving me —
quick, before the city disappears.

Maria McMillan, The Rope Walk.

reading with grannyFor Margaret Lindsay Simmers, née Dalrymple.
12 May 1916 – 8 June 2014.

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