The men were there with the cement trucks and diggers, smoking cigarettes and brewing batches of builders’ tea, the electronic radio beats muffled by their drills and shouts while I played hopscotch in the playground in a country separated from them by wide water. They carved the new estate from wild fields, giving each house a number, a garden, a garage. I made daisy chains as they tiled the roof, skipped home from parties holding moist cake in a too-thin napkin as they hung the doors. Maybe they laid the last brick the day I won the egg and spoon race and stood on the podium for the first time, elated and terrified in turns. I wrote late night assignments at college, drank blue drinks and found love in an echo filled hall. Bereavement became a feeling not just a word. I found out all people were good and bad. Families moved in, then moved out, but in the end it was always my house, waiting in the corner on the other side of the wide water.
First published in Spelk, May 2019.
Saturday, 15 June 2019
'Home' by Gemma Govier
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