Cremation ash jewellery
by Thomas Heath
I remember being trapped underwater and my jumper was torn.
I was in a house full of people who couldn’t sleep, where the clocks were loud.
They would watch me sleep under lamplight.
I need to know/remember, in earnest shadow, but someone’s there
back in the house full of people who couldn’t speak, waiting.
Tense lines on furniture, floral, tartan chairs. It’s where colour felt
like hooks on the roof of a cave, placed to catch bats
mid-flight, and every sound was something calling from the deep.
I’d clutch the brooch that belonged to my grandmother,
as they would lurk heavily in unheard speech.
No names, no sound, just a peek at a brown suitcase sat in the corner
and the smell of bleach soaking the walls, and the feeling of ash in my hands.
I knew there was something out there.
Leaves circled the house, picture frames, soap and an empty bedroom with
faint warmth. Dawn came around 5:30, and nothing could stop the juddering sun.
I remember being driven away to the train station,
and the look on someone’s face when they saw me,
apparently it had been four months.
Floorboards only creak when you walk carefully,
rooms only echo when there’s nothing there.
Thomas is a performance poet and playwright from Nottingham, UK. His work has been performed at The Old Red Lion Theatre, Brave New Word Poetry event and The Nottingham New Theatre. He is currently working on his first collection of poetry, 'Monsoon Phantom' and hoping to release it later this year.