That Time by Eilidh G Clark

Eilidh G Clark is a writer, poet and storyteller living in Clackmannanshire. Her work has been published in various forms–podcast, online, on a billboard at a train station–and in 2017, her short story The Impracticality of Home was highly commended in Carer UK’s creative writing competition. In 2018, Eilidh took to the stage as part of The International Storytelling Festival on Tour, bringing local folklore back to life across Scotland. Eilidh also has a MLitt in Creative Writing from The University of Stirling. 



That Time


I hadn’t seen her in a decade,
Not since that time we …
Now she’s lying before me, tucked-up warm
In hospital sheets.

Her face is older now, saggy in parts–
And sallow. Her mouth puckers into
A tight circle when I arrive, an ‘Oh!’
Like that time we…

She touches my arm, cold fingers
That leave circles for minutes after.
‘How have you been? How time flies,
Tell me, what have you done since…
You know.’

Her shoulders hunch, eyebrows rise.
She reads my face, faster
Than the note I left by her bed…

‘Tell me, did you sail to that island,
Where the wind whips the waves
Onto the lighthouse by the edge

Of the sea. Did you?

‘Did you climb the thousand stone steps
To the castle in the sky,
Where the world ends
And life unfolds like a paper chain?

‘Did you find that missing moment,
Capture it in photographs,
Half-truths bent into scraps
Of happiness?
Or did you leave it behind?’

Her chestnut eyes leave mine,
Trail the cracks on the ceiling
And rest in the corner of room.
The sound of my footsteps echo
After I leave.

You can find more of Eilidh’s writing here on The Ogilvie as well as through her website.