Phantom Pain of the Heart

A poem about my Auntie J, who sadly passed away

I can see her dark black duffle coat, tired and worn down like the one who wears it,

I can hear appalling attempt at a Scottish accent,

I can feel her even darker curly locks twist in between the fingers of my younger self,

I can sense her heart beating close-by, but maybe I mishear.


I can see her harmless crocodile’s smile beaming up at me,

I can hear singing voice sawing, sawing beyond that cage she dwelled in,

(Surely this wasn’t the only way to break her chains, breaking her benevolent bonds?)

I can feel her warm embrace, the plush hug of such soothing arms,

I can sense her whispering something to me, but maybe I mishear.


I know this can’t be real,

She’s just the distant birdsong of a long forgotten dove or lark,

Beautiful dust in the wind,

The glint of an angel in a rainbow- tinted puddle.

The reverberating, piercing echo in a dream,

Just a bittersweet mirage.


This is the agony of remembering, of having to remember.

A burden which you don’t just bear but cling on to,

The perfect phantom pain of my memories,

Phantom pain of the heart

The End

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