For Holden on his 27th Birthday

how many greens

 

trees being obvious, the two of you walked in the forest all the time when he was little, and later he did by himself, you saw the photos, on his phone, blue plus yellow, when you might be sick because you want to be forgiven, the kind on the belly of a salmon, spawning or not spawning, and plants, salal, eucalyptus, fucking morning glory choking everything, the breeze lifting the leaves, the soft warm one that day at Tribune Bay when you swam together and his hair dripped and the waves were walls of glass to dive through, you were torpedos, military vehicles, and he laughed, he shivered, his lips turned,

when you want something very much because someone else has it and they seem happy, or the one when you can afford drinks for everybody in the bar but you’d better save that for your RRSP or a rainy day, St. Patrick’s Day, Luck of the Irish, lucky stars, shooting stars, the neon northern lights you saw swirl that summer up north, lying on your backs on the grass and he said ‘amazing!’, dew, the moss that feels so soft you could just lie down, and never get up again, and take the chance you could meet him somewhere, over the rainbow,

the one that reflects from the road sign and you need to slow down, and surgical scrubs, the kind the nurse wore when she bandaged deep gashes in his hand, the cut that made him worry he’d never spray paint again, never throw up olive lime celery, but he would, he would use his thumb instead, there’s the water in the river about three feet down, so cold it makes your bones ache and your lungs seize, the first breath you take when you surface, like he didn’t, didn’t surface, didn’t take that breath,

there’s dumpsters, the kind covered in his graffiti, a resurrection if you look at it with the right eyes, his were asymmetrical, the left one drooped a little, especially when he was weed wackin’, so hazel is one, the kind on eyelids, on new drivers, the drinks with kale you made for him, the kind when you step on the gas, the bottle holding wine, the message, why didn’t somebody tell you sooner, the kind of that tropical fish, maybe it was a parrot fish, when he swam down so deep you thought he would drown, wouldn’t have time to make it all the way back up again but he did, he didn’t drown,

and he was so happy to sit under a palm tree, that’s another one, happy to sit and drink orange Fanta, and you felt everything was alright, very strongly felt it, but sometimes you’re wrong, that’s another kind, when you’re wrong, and your mouth tastes like sucking metal, when something inside you breaks, like that stick you stepped on, on that trail you walked on, you walked on it together, when he was just a kid and he loved all the greens and he said to you how many greens are there Mama? and you said let’s count them.

16 Comments
  1. Shauna

    Beautiful Tara, as always <3

  2. Jillian

    Achingly beautiful

    • Tara McGuire

      Thank you for reading Jillian, and for being a friend. x

  3. Terry Mulligan

    I read your words twice.
    The second time I actually breathed.
    Followed by a huge “sigh”. Love you
    terry

    • Tara McGuire

      Hi Terry,

      Love you too! I hope you’re doing okay. Thanks for breathing and not breathing,

      T

  4. Erin Bird

    I miss him and so wish he was still here. Holden was passionate and determined & super funny! Favourite memory – the rocks & the cheddar dance at Shingle Spit with Livi – I miss his laugh ♥️

    • Tara McGuire

      What a memory, I heard that song yesterday too!

      Thanks for missing Holden, and remembering the parts of his personality that I sometimes forget about.

      xoxoxo t

  5. cathie borrie

    Powerful Powerful

  6. Becky

    Wow! Words in the right writer.

  7. Lianne

    Beautiful Tara….sending you a big hug💕

  8. Irene

    Shades of grief, shades of missing memories, shades of blinding love.

  9. Lally Coney

    I am counting all the infinite greens! Lovely piece Tara.

  10. Brenda

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

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