Saturday, 31 December 2011
Day 26 (for Terri): On the blank page I read
my parents' lost words: my mother's diaries that she threw away a few years ago, which she'd written every day since she was single, before my brother and I were born; the letters my father hasn't written; the things both my parents haven't managed to say; the secret fears they've told me when drunk or nearly told me sober and pretended after that they never said; the things I can't tell them
my brother's voice before it broke. With my ear to the page I hear the tapes we made and recorded over. I hear him shouting, 'Ambush!' as he jumps down from his oak tree in the Back Field and runs at me, a hogweed sword in his hand
my grandparents' and great-grandparents' stories; the love letters they cherished, burned or forgot about; the words they buried, choked on, whispered into reeds or holes in trees, or told the wind; the spidery or arabesque script of my ancestors back to the first boy who was taught to write; and before that, the timbre of their voices, talking, singing, crying, snoring; their laughter; their infant screams; their last breaths; the ticks and chimes of their clocks and watches; the sounds of their houses: doors banging, dogs barking, footsteps and the squeals of gates.