I scan the pages,
all blank but for a date
boldly heading every page,
there is no hint of that unwritten history.
I bauked at recording each crisis as it happened,
as if by keeping it from these virgin sheets I could conceal it,
make it less real, and therefore easier to forget,
to slip back into previous days of possibility;
but time has revealed that every detail
is indelibly burnt inside my head,
like those happier times;
all, all of them gone.
If I had written the facts
every day, as they happened,
I could have boxed up my diary,
locked it up, hidden it far away,
but it would only have been a photocopy.
I have the original, unwritten manuscript.
I carry it always inside my brain,
the ink still drying on a label
bearing the legend
Dust may gather;
I will not wipe it away,
and, though now and again,
unwelcome memories may drip through
I will be stern, and turn them away.
They will not get a grip on me.
I will not bare my scars
as if they they still
pustulate and fester.
I will stand tall,
move with the moment,
and prepare for my next tomorrow,
whatever it may bring.
©Jane Paterson Basil