Sunday 7 April 2024

The Eclipse


The Eclipse  by Jan Jones

The eclipse came when I was ten,
 one of the big girls in my small school.
We went out into the playground to watch,
all with dark cardboard celluloid glasses for protection.
Early summer, it must have been, because I wore a blue-checked dress
and the navy blue cardigan my mother had knitted.

When the darkness came, it was shocking
All senses gone except for touch
A little girl cried
I felt for her hand and pulled her close,
my other hand gripping my cardigan,
amazed to feel the texture of the stitches against my fingers,
magnified by the darkness,
feeling the difference between the front and the buttonhole band,
rubbing my thumb over the blue buttons that I’d helped take off last year’s cardi,
ready to transfer to this one.

The sun came back and with it warmth and the sound of the birds
and people laughed in relief and perhaps a little foolishness
and I looked at my friends, shivering in their smooth, desirable, shop-bought cardigans
with no texture or memories to anchor them to the world
and knew I would never envy anyone their clothes or possessions again.