I'm not sure what woke me,

Not certain I was asleep.


Eyelids fluttering, fighting fatigue,

I strain to see through the gloom,

Unfocussed eyes merely picking out

Shapes skulking in the shadows;

Silhouettes devoid of colour and texture,

Lacking substance.


Awake or dreaming?

Still, the uncertainty.


The softly purring central heating

Lulls me, luring me towards sleep's abyss,

Until the harsh, howling wind

Rattles my window,

Shrieking an inharmonious refrain

That shakes me rudely into consciousness.


Did that wake me?

A worldly commotion?  


Perhaps. Perhaps not.


I stare blankly into the darkness,

The hairs on the back of my neck

Rising, electrified.

Scarcely daring to breathe,

I listen, ears burning.


There's something there,

Something barely audible:

A whisper I can't separate

From the background hum.


Hopeful, I stretch out my hand,

Sliding stealthily beneath the duvet,

Invading your side of the bed.

The sheet beneath my fingertips

Is smooth, pristine,

And touching your pillow

Only brings disappointment.

No dent. No warmth.


Sighing, I roll onto my side.

Drawing your pillow close,

I inhale. Slow, deep. Release.

Inhaling again,

A burst of moisture streaks my cheeks -

It's faint but it's there,

Definitely there…


Suddenly, I'm catapulted into

A world filled with you:

Your scent on the pillow,

Your voice in my ear.

Your breath on my neck,

Your body next to mine.

Closer, closer, our limbs entwine,

Holding, caressing. We connect,

Zipping together perfectly,

Two parts of one whole.


Your kisses scorch my flesh,

Your hands ignite the fire

Deep within my core.

Your love envelops me and, smiling,

I move my feet playfully beneath the duvet,

Expecting to touch your toes

And hear you laugh…


A sob escapes my throat.

It startles me.

Recoiling, I curl in on myself,

Arms wrapping tight around my body.

I rock back and forth,

Back and forth.

A metronome marking time,

Waiting for the melody.


Endlessly waiting.

I wish it would stop.


A mechanical click cuts through the quiet.

The radiators twang as they start to cool.  

The wind whistles, rattling my windows.


Reaching out, wishing,

My hand searches beneath the duvet,

Willing you to touch me,

Remembering when you did.