• Tired Traveler Tales: 1

  • Posted on 15/06/23 07:29am
  • I've just remembered something.
    When I was about 14 I went to Ireland.
    I fished.
    Dan took me. He looked a bit like my Dad, who I never knew,
    but I saw pictures.
    I remember a girl who looked at me with some attention.
    Too dope or too shy or both, I wouldn't make any kind of move.
    Actually that's not true.
    I didn't know what a move was.
    We went swimming. A few of us. Her included.
    I remember she changed into a bikini.
    The towel slipped briefly and she looked at me.
    I turned away quickly and when I turned back
    she was smiling at me.
    I have not thought of that smile since then.
    I carried it with me for weeks after
    and then it slipped from view.
    One night, when I was in half sleep
    the handle of my bedroom door turned slowly
    and someone tried to push it open
    but couldn't.
    They tried several times.
    I got up and as I moved to the door
    it stilled into a silence.
    I opened it and looked into a dark space.
    The bedroom landing was quiet
    but it wasn't an empty quiet.
    It was more a beating silence.
    I've not thought of Dan, or that silence,
    or her smile, for the longest time.
    Memories are ghosts that long
    to stay with us, moving through our loneliness,
    yearning for our company.
    We're not so different, you and I.

© Mike Walker 2024