Every time I see a child
I think of days that never came.
A girl pushing her dolly in a pretty pink pram;
Babyccinos in the café;
Tiny footprints in the mud.
The forests, the beaches, the castles, the towns:
There is no escape from days that never came.
Sometimes I would pluck out my eyes,
But how would that help?
I hear them; laughing, crying,
Learning to speak;
The echoes of another voice, a voice unheard,
“Daddy, I love you, kiss it better, it hurts”;
I grieve for days that never came.
It’s not fair; the places I went with you
Are haunted; the places we never went
Filled with ghosts.
So I walk, and I cry, big, fat, ugly tears,
In parks, in cities, they just come, unbidden.
And people look at me and wonder why.
“Mummy, why’s that man crying?”
I wonder where you are,
If you still need me to wipe your eyes,
Soothe your pain; if there is something I can do or give
To make it all okay.
And I wonder if somewhere in this world,
This shell, this echo of what could have been,
You too remember happy days
And mourn for those that never came.