My Cousin Andrew

News of his death has knocked me over,

punched me in the stomach,

weakened my knees,

taken the breath from my lungs,

dizzied my head,

and left me



 Who knew that never being able to

share with him

another joke, another story,

another fete, another drive,

another beach, another confidence, 

would produce such a gaping wound?

Who knew that it would take his death

to teach me that liking,

feeling comfortable with,

trusting, sharing,

relying on, looking forward to seeing,

teasing, laughing with,

swimming, dancing or sitting beside,

combined together

spell “love”?

Who knew that not remembering

a single instance when

I told him “I love you”

would hurt like a paper cut

as long as my body?

From now on,

I will speak of my appreciation

in a timely manner.

Let folks whisper that I am
a sentimental silly-billy.

Let friends tell me

“give it a rest”.

Let me be embarrassed

to say I care.

A thousand times better

such discomforts,

than even one more instance

of sorrow

and wishing I had stated

 how strongly I felt.

Sharain Ward has been writing since the 1980s.  Her writing explores her surroundings, people and life through the prism of her Caribbean background.

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