i grieve the girl in the summer dress in late may, i grieve the mourning doves, i grieve the ice lolly stained teeth and the way the sun was hotter in 2005, i grieve the dew on the grass that stuck to paddling pool legs.
i attended the funeral of a little girl when i decided to no longer be one. i attended the funeral of summer sometime last november, a little closed casket affair for something i had to freeze in the morgue before i was ready to let go.
i mourn the tired christmases and birthdays and the excitement of the night before. i mourn clothes set out on bedroom floors and perfectly-made outfits for school trips. i mourn the entirety of primary school and wonder if the rainbow fish works a corporate job now.
i lost my faith somewhere between the pews of my holy communion, but i got a pretty green set of rosary beads and a bouncy castle and an episode of doctor who so terrifying that i made my eldest sister sleep in my room. i lost my other sister, with whom i talk to now on tired christmases and birthdays, just after she spent all afternoon completing game achievements that my young hands and daylight-savings-attention-span couldn’t achieve by themselves.
when i was younger, i was smaller but the stars were closer. when i was younger, i was barriered in suncream and each swimming pool at a caravan resort was the ocean in a friendly disguise. when i was younger, i lived a lunchables life with soft serve ice cream for dessert every day, and it was far too beautiful to be beautiful in anything but hindsight.
now, i check myself for wrinkles; it’s the only time i can look in the mirror. sometimes i see her, five or seventeen, and i say “that’s my girl.” i cannot let her know of the mourning that will come. i cannot let her claim me as her future but i will hold her soft, small palms and pretend that i am doing the leading.