A Life Well Lived

It’s fine. It always was, because I’m able to keep going.
I can eat and breathe and I’ve taken up an interest in sewing.

We had kids, didn’t we?
And a life and a home and so on.
And hobbies and friends and things
which I, at first, assumed were gone.

We raised them right, we raised them good, and we grew up with each other.
And we were a happy family. Mother. Father. Sister. Brother.

I’m glad I met you, and lived with you, and loved you my whole life.
I remember our marriage vows, when we became husband and wife.

Their first days at school, holidays by the pool,
the everyday minutiae of our lives.

We lived, didn’t we? And we both grew old. Our kids had their own lives.
They had their own partners. Their own husbands, their own wives.

I think we were, or though not sure, maybe that was all inside.
The feelings and fictitious things that I can’t help but hide.

Maybe you weren’t with me, and maybe you went elsewhere.

I’m old now, I have nothing, and my life is all laid bare.

I can’t remember things, I walk around, I get lost around the town.

But if I was never with you, then I regret every time I’m found.

We have no kids, you aren’t my wife. This was all inside my head.

I’m going, I’m passing, I’m ninety seven, and now I’ll soon be dead.

I cannot see anyone, my focus, and my eyesight soon grows dim.

And with final breath I’ll tell the world,

I loved you more than him.


I won’t go and get you a star out of the night sky.
I would if I could though.

I have already done that for another woman and we are happily married and live in a small flat outside Basildon.
We keep our star on the mantelpiece and we’ve very happy and content. We have been for years.
And I’m sorry he wasn’t a good astronaut. Or picked a star for someone else. Or had agoraphobia and won’t go out.

My partner would ask questions if I fetched you a star. And she’d compare.
Is it smaller or bigger or brighter or dimmer? Is it yellow or red or orange or purple?

I won’t go and get you a star out of the night sky.
I would if I could though.

And I know a million male aeronauts say that to a trillion different women, promising more stars than there are in the night sky.

I know the sad fact that most stars burn out, most marriages fall apart and the cold statistical fact that ninety four percent of everything you see in the night sky is already gone.

But there are some left. There are those left, who will hold the burning sun close to them and bring it back to you, their hands bursting with blisters and their eyes streaming. And you will put it on the mantelpiece. And be with them.
Maybe not in a small flat in Basildon, it may be a bungalow in Ipswich or a semi-detached house in Surrey.

But he will do it because I can’t.

He will love you because I can’t.

He will bring you your star.

I won’t get you a star out of the night sky.


I would.

If I could.


I will eat red meat and wear leather jackets because when it’s my turn I won’t turn the worms away.

For I cannot look away from the fox with a rabbit head clenched in its uncaring jaw that speaks of nothing but hunger.
If life were fair the fox would not be hungry, the rabbit would live live, its eye would not bulge unfeeling.

We bury out dead in lying coffins to keep them away from the reclamation, like watching someone you’ve mutilated pick up a knife.

Go on.

Try to convince them not to stab you.

We don’t like it when the shoe is on the other foot, the loam is not being harvested and the loam is now harvesting you.

It is only not fair.