Scrubbing at his blood on the pavement she knows his four year old self is standing there
but she won’t look, because he’ll disappear.
He’s ten now, walking away from her with a sideways glance and she wishes she had done
more at that precise moment because now he is twelve and not going to school, talks to her
like he is eighteen but with that baby face and fear in his eyes and she could have asked him
‘What is it that makes you so fearful?’ but at fourteen the fear is gone, nothing in his face to
show that he loves his mum, or anyone, including himself. The fear now in her eyes because
she knew already it was too late, but if he had asked her what was making her so afraid
could she have told him.
She thinks there was a moment she could have done something and now there’s a trail of
his blood from the park, into the ally, people in a white tent deciphering the movement of
mingled bloody footprints.
She places her hand on the single handprint on her door frame that they haven’t come for
yet, closes her eyes and wills his blood to seep into the lines of her palm, into her veins, to
keep him alive in herself. She can feel no warmth from it but can’t move her hand from his
last living touch.
He was trying to reach his safe place but she doesn’t see it, listens only to the guilt of her
inner voice ‘ He didn’t do it… you did’ because she will always think that there was something she could
have done as a mum, that it was her that caused the fatal wound.
(c) Jennifer Patsalidou