by Carol Ann Duffy
I’m ten years away from the corner you laugh on
with your pals, Maggie McGeeney and Jean Duff.
The three of you bend from the waist, holding
each other, or your knees, and shriek at the pavement.
Your polka-dot dress blows round your legs. Marilyn.
I’m not here yet. The thought of me doesn’t occur
in the ballroom with the thousand eyes, the fizzy, movie tomorrows
the right walk home could bring. I knew you would dance
like that. Before you were mine, your Ma stands at the close
with a hiding for the late one. You reckon it’s worth it.
The decade ahead of my loud, possessive yell was the best one, eh?
I remember my hands in those high-heeled red shoes, relics,
and now your ghost clatters toward me over George Square
till I see you, clear as scent, under the tree,
with its lights, and whose small bites on your neck, sweetheart?
Cha cha cha! You’d teach me the steps on the way home from Mass,
stamping stars from the wrong pavement. Even then
I wanted the bold girl winking in Portobello, somewhere
in Scotland, before I was born. That glamorous love lasts
where you sparkle and waltz and laugh before you were mine.
Just suffered from a PMS induced identity crisis. Hows your hump day?
Running needs to become a priority in my life once again.
Obligatory I AM DONE WITH MY DEGREE POST.
Don’t mind me, just flying off to Gran Canaria now.
I lit some candles, put on this playlist, researched some restaurants to try out in London this summer and now I am going to crawl into bed and read.
Taking a guilt-free evening off from studying feels good.
I am in this weird state where I just want to finish and move on from where I am now, but still feeling all sorts of nostalgia. Worrying that I don’t have time to see all the people I want to see/do all the things I want to do before I go. Change is scary and I am scared but I am also so, so ready. I have done my bit here, I know these streets too well and I need a new challenge. But there is something so comfortable about continuity. Staying close to family and friends and cities that I have fallen in love with. Yet nothing is more exciting than the prospect of falling in love with a new place, travelling to unexplored corners of this massive world that I am only a small part of, being closer to my one and only and creating memories in yet another place. So much is about to change in my life, while the people and places I leave behind will, in my mind, remain the same. Funny how that works.
Last round of undergraduate finals start tomorrow. In 9 days I will be done, and in 10 I will be lying on a beach sipping cocktails.