anniversaire

when we arrived here in france one year ago I remember clearly the delightful overwhelm of birds singing shrilly and a profuse of pink roses blooming. we were giddy with the adrenaline of farewelling the city we grew up in, the kin we love, the salty breeze... we were fatigued with 24 hours of flying and nervous to twist our tongues around a new language. it seems so long ago we turned the key into our one-room maisonette and breathed in an unfamiliar scent - not bad - just foreign about our necks. It seems like yesterday I watched our garden grow and my belly with child. 

one year past,
and I can see beyond the carefully framed photograph;
my hands picking fresh cherries, beans, apples, pears, verbena,
a riot in our neighbourhood and the smell of plastic bins set alight,
tears of loneliness, frustration, remembrance,
gypsies on the train, monet, fresh bread,
friendships forged, letters written, rodin,
the blue, subdued cityscape the morning my firstborn arrived,
my lover about the chestnut trees, hedges, computer screens -
falling snow, conversations with the six-year-old through the fence,
a booming voice advertising the circus,
the best raspberries, the worst cheese
flying ants, and a hint of violet tisane.

one year to come, 
and I see ocean, stone, summer harvesting,
a baby boy crawling through poppies,
crossing the boarders, flying over the strait of gibraltar, 
languages learnt a little more, characters crafted in ink and vectors,
tears of happiness, tears for home -
some plans let go of, others picked up,
the feel of soft skin, laundry, faith, art, earth.

now its early morning - the house sleeps, a babe cradled in my left arm, a cup of tea gone cold - outside the birds cheer on the day and pink roses unfurl...