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Martha O'Brien May 2016
Of course that time was ours
and yours, before the end,
when the beach was busy and the
***** went flying and the
sand stuck to the top of our toes.
That’s what I think of when the sun is shining,
and the rain brings sweet-shop smiles,
cobbles and chips, salt and vinegar soaked.

Nothing smells like you, and the words lie too
and the shirts and the shoes are the only proof
left-over that the sand and the
cobbles and the chips,
and the laughs and the smiles were there.
Martha O'Brien May 2016
OK, mostly.
Ticking over fine,
closer, yes, and no,
we can cut the grass, it’s alright.*
The flowers are permanent now
drooping petals replaced the next day,
the kettle’s always on-
we’ll have to find time to have a cuppa-
and there’s a certain silence at night.
There’s a voice missing, high pitched and incredulous,
filling gaps, tidying shoes
letters strewn on the floor for
things that never mattered before,
I suppose it’s just a waiting game.
We’re different and torn and changing
and sad and confused and lost and
*OK, mostly.
Ticking over fine,
closer, yes, and no,
we can get the shopping in. It’s alright.
Martha O'Brien Apr 2016
Don’t forget, we’ve got your eyes,
in albums, dated and neat.
Clicking, capturing what you’ll miss,
what’s unmissable,
framing the memories for us so
we’ve got them when you’re gone.
I can hear your laugh when I see your smile
but better still I can wonder why
you pointed a lens at a clear sky
and wonder why I do, too.
Martha O'Brien Apr 2016
To love it all-
the world and more-
is an adventure. To live and to love
with a grin and a laugh
with the songs that echoed your words
and your frowns that meant nothing at all
and to hold onto memories like bedtime stories
and repeat them and laugh
and to simply not care
and to sing the same words over and over
and to play that tape, Side A, Side, B, Side A,
to smile
and to photograph it all,
to frame your love,
and to laugh
and to laugh
and to laugh.
I’d be a part of that adventure again.
I’ll make it mine, I swear.
Martha O'Brien Mar 2016
The wind whispers its secrets to the trees
while we are still. Still, on the hill,
resting on the blanket while our toes feel the grass,
just a dot on a map. A pinprick,
not enough to unsettle the water.
See that man in the red shirt with the blurred face
surrounded by green in the heat of the day?
It takes a while to find him, after you’ve traced my finger.
There’s no camera and no visions
no landmark over there, you say.
My eyes follow the blue in the sky over to the green
and that red. Where no one will see
what doesn’t matter;
that red dot that climbs is too small for memory
and he’s fading around a corner.
Quietly, I wonder
if the eyes in my head are enough proof.
And what mountain holds medals
for people who have no care for them.
Martha O'Brien Mar 2016
Everything stopped growing when I stopped trying;
now my watering can is empty and my garden’s always dying
but whatever, now it’s over,
it’s over and I’m stuck-
I wish I didn’t care about this friend’s fake love
that silences could easily be filled up
with this middle filler ******* to get me out of a rut
but nothing is working and my eyes won’t stay shut,
and the flowers in the compost tell me my time’s up.
I put myself on pause for a break of sorts
but now I can’t press play as I once thought
and I’m watching, out of the window, car exhausts.
Smoky trails, like the way I talk.
Martha O'Brien Mar 2016
If I lose my face again
if my smile dampens at the ends
my eyes don’t close at half past ten
know I’m still in here watching.

If my sentences trail away
if my words don’t match what I mean to say
if I don’t speak because I can’t explain
I’m still in here, waiting.

And most of all, if I’m the same
if you look at me and don’t see pain
if you’re proud I haven’t faded away,
know I still flinch at surprises
my soul still cries at night
know I’m trapped inside glass
everyone stares and I laugh
I’m stuck, and I wish I was hiding.
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