Saturday 18 June 2022

'Our Planets Align' by Julia Ruth Smith

One day the planet tilted just ever so slightly to the left and everyone and everything I’d ever known in between fell off.

It wasn’t easy to hold on through the tumbling of lovers, houses, beer garden furniture and roly-poly bottles of Merlot but I dug my nails into Lincolnshire furrows and thought of baby Jesus.

When everything had righted itself I was a clean slate of Yorkshire stone; I was rivers I’ve yet to wander and deep-blue anniversary pools.

I built a house with bare hands in a faraway forest and sat down to wait, even though expectation had slipped over the edge with the rest.

There was a lot of time for thinking so that’s what I did. Small rabbits swept a path through the foliage and tiny birds flittered with opportunity. It all seemed a little too early. This was a new day and we had yet to gather berries enough for the future.

But a tilting of planets is not the end of life.

You rolled in from the right on the seventh day, banging into the ‘v’ that had formed where diamond-tipped grass seemed almost copper in the morning light.  Somewhat familiar, you apologised in advance for the next ten years as if we had any choice.

We lit fires in late evening, ate scoops of pale pistacchio ice-cream in the clearings we had made in our minds and licked skin, lying one on the other, not caring for form; then explosions of blossom and invented words we’d plucked from longing.

It was too late for a baby but she was wholesome and freckled and fire. She was just us; torn apart then put back together. We called her Star and watched from millenia away as she shone brightly over what we had wished for.

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